Book Review | Dining With Joy
Author: Rachel Hauck
I was quite taken by Dining With Joy. It was sweet, heartwarming, and real.
The characters have depth and are interesting, the dialogue is completely natural; the storyline is, oddly enough, totally believable. That storyline — that the namesake of an innovative cooking show cannot cook — is also totally believable. Those who are aware of the truth help hide it from her viewers and the “powers that be,” although it tortures Joy. This situation only promises to get worse once her show is slated to become the prime-time centerpiece on a new network.
So, as you can imagine, this premise lends itself to all sorts of situations involving the characters, yet it’s never handled cheaply or in a slapstick-y manner (slapstick-y? I’m using it!). Dining with Joy is well-written and will keep your attention for hours. One afternoon, I read it in a doctor’s waiting room…for an hour. Not only was I not aggravated by the wait, I was slightly annoyed when my name was called, because I had to stop reading. I really enjoyed reading this book…it was something of an escape, if you will.
This book is full of Southern charm (which I have repeatedly stated that I love), so that gets big points for me. You know, towns where everyone knows each other, where they congregate at homey little restaurants run by people they know on a first name basis, when they drink sweet tea out of Mason jars. Oh, and they say things like, “I’ll be happy as a tick on a bloodhound.” Throw that in with a little conflict…some intense chemistry between Joy and her new co-host, the Yankee Luke…and complicated family dynamics…and you have Dining with Joy. Don’t forget the spiritual theme, with consistent (and relevant) references to God and His role in the characters’ lives.
Dining with Joy was my first Rachel Hauck novel, but I don’t think it will be the last. It was a delightful read; charming, fun, and uplifting. I have no doubt you’ll agree.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*