This came recommended by colleagues, so I thought I’d give ‘Love, Lies & Lemon Pies’ a try. When the book arrived I wasn’t especially impressed by the cover – for me it really does look rather twee. But, because colleagues had been praising it so highly I was happy to give it a go although I must confess I had pretty low expectations. I really should trust others’ judgments next time!
We meet Lottie. She’s in year 11, but in the previous year has lost her Dad, and her Mum has suffered a mental health crisis, and is filling their house with old charity shop items. Lottie has distanced herself from friends and her grades are starting to slip, and she is terrified someone will insist on a home visit and find out, so goes to great lengths to put on an ‘everything is fine’ front. She is persuaded to join the newly formed bake club (something she hasn’t done since her Dad died, as it was something they used to do together). The group starts with relatively straightforward recipes, and Lottie finds herself relaxing and even enjoying it, especially as ‘bad boy’ Mac also joins. The members of the group get to know each other gradually over the course of time, and as Lottie is often partnered with Mac she realises there’s much more to him than his image, and begins to fall for him.
The group decides to enter a schools baking competition, and also have the help of a local baker who offers the lure of an apprenticeship to one student. Together, Lottie & Mac turn out to be pretty good, and they both really want to win both the competition and the chance of the apprenticeship.
This is a pretty light read, and includes a new recipe for each chapter. I had originally labelled it as a young adult read, but in all honesty there’s nothing in it that would justify that label I think. Instead, it’s an honest portrayal of the complexity of teenage life – the mix of possible romance, with friendship and home issues rings very true. The book is pretty well written I felt – it has a good pace and satisfying conclusion. The relationships between the students especially develops well, showing us that, however perfect lives may appear from the outside, there is always more going on than we realise.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read!