Melissa Dance was eight years old when her mother died. They never got to say goodbye.
Seventeen years later, Melissa is handed a journal. As she smooths open the pages and begins to read her mother’s words, she is instantly transported back to her childhood.
But returning to her past is painful and memories of her mother’s beautiful face are a cruel reminder to Melissa that she’ll never see her again.
As Melissa slowly makes her way through the precious book, reading the snippets of advice and cooking the dishes from the recipes she is also shocked to learn of her mother’s secrets – secrets that if shared, could change Melissa’s world forever.
The basic plot is as outlined in the blurb. It is a very simple idea for a book, but simple ideas have to be executed to perfection to work and this one works very well. The book has a dual timeline as we follow Melissa in the present coming to terms with the book she’s been given and her Mother, Eleanor in the past as she is putting her thoughts, feelings and family recipes down onto paper. The recipes are intended to remind Melissa about her childhood and the time she spent with her mum, but there are also ‘recipes’ for coping with life as an adult.
What is apparent is despite the fact that it is 18 years since Eleanor died, both Melissa and her father are still not fully reconciled to that loss. The book is beautifully written and it is impossible not to feel for Melissa as she reads her “Recipes”. It is an emotional read and one that has you rooting for both Melissa and her father to sort themselves out and face the future, rather than being held back by the past.
It is a book that reminds you how important our relationships that we often take for granted are, and that we should cherish our memories as none of know what the future holds.
I received an ARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Recipes for Melissa is available for 99p as part of the Kindle May monthly deal on Amazon