Monday, July 23, 2018

The Art of Inheriting Secrets: a book review

The Art of Inheriting Secrets: A Novel

by Barbara O'Neal

Released July 17, 2018

Lake Union Publishing

Looking for a light summer read with a gorgeous setting, delicious food descriptions, mystery, and romance? The Art of Inheriting Secrets is a good bet.

In it, we follow food editor Olivia who has inherited from her mother a dilapidated English estate that she didn’t even know existed. She flies from San Francisco to see exactly what it is and quickly has more questions than answers as she tries to determine what to do with it, what it means, and why her mother kept it a secret all this time.

This novel has a number of things going for it: a rich setting that beckons wandering, food descriptions that make me want to spend more time in my kitchen, and an exploration of class systems, ethnic heritage, and sexuality. With these last ideas, the novel provided more diversity than I anticipated. I appreciated that aspect.

I generally read a lot of nonfiction, but like to sprinkle in some fiction, as well, and this book didn’t disappoint. Although I didn’t necessarily relate to the characters, I found the setting remarkably engaging. My favorite aspect of the story was Olivia’s friendship with Pavi, the owner of an Indian restaurant. The way Olivia engaged with food was interesting to me and made me want to appreciate it as much as she does. Reading about the ingredients and concoctions served appealed to my nonfiction side.

If you’re looking for a light read for the end of summer, give this one a try.

Disclaimer: I received an advance-read copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I used Amazon affiliate links in this post. Should you choose to buy something through those links, you will not pay any extra, but they will send me a small fee, which I will likely add to my book fund. Thank you. Please see my Book Review Disclaimer for more information.

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