What’s it all about?:
‘I’m looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you. If I find it, I know you’ll come back to me.’
It’s been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I’ve decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I’m coping so well without him – they have no idea what I’ve been hiding or what I do away from prying eyes. But now that my 14-year-old daughter has confessed something so devastating it could destroy our family all over again, and my husband’s killer has started to write to me claiming to be innocent, I know it’s only a matter of time before the truth about me and what I’ve done is revealed to the world.
My name is Saffron Mackleroy and this is my story.
What did I think?:
I am a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson, she’s what I would call an “auto-buy” author, where you would automatically buy their next novel without even reading the synopsis. I loved her last novel The Rose Petal Beach, and her newest offering, The Flavours of Love, is another belter. Our heroine of the story is Saffron Mackleroy, whose husband Joel was brutally stabbed by an unknown assailant, and died leaving behind his wife and two children. When we first meet Saffron she is bravely coping with her change in situation but then a number of events combined turn her world upside down. First, she has to move her husband’s Aunty Betty into her home – Betty is a wonderful and eccentric character who is turfed out of her nursing home after she is caught being (ahem) intimate with another resident on the manager’s desk. Secondly, she is having problems at work as her egocentric boss has little sympathy or understanding for the trauma that she has gone through. Also, what do you do if you have a “best friend,” who as Aunty Betty succinctly puts it, is an emotional vampire? These are tough things to deal with on their own but on top of that her daughter Phoebe comes out with a staggering revelation that has the potential to change their lives forever. And to make things even worse, the murderer of Saffron’s husband has started writing to her, small hand-written letters that she receives every day, the content of which is terrifying, and leaves Saffron in a situation which she doesn’t know how to deal with.
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot of this novel, but it is jam-packed with twists and turns, is slightly dark and ghoulish, and left me with more than a few shivers down the spine. Some reviewers have talked about this book slightly negatively in terms of how much is going on alongside the main plot. However, I loved that there were a lot of issues and themes present, from friendship, grief and parenting to murder, dealing with death, and potential love after the death of a partner. As a reader, it gave me a lot of different things to mull upon, and it meant that there was always something happening within the novel, keeping it sharp and snappy and moving it along in just the right way. I loved the journey that our main character Saffron went on within the novel, both literally and as a person, and all the other characters were written to perfection with just the right amount of intrigue to keep me interested and turning the pages. Dorothy Koomson is a talented and brilliant author, whose writing I admire with plots I adore. I must also praise the cover art of this book, which I think is absolutely beautiful.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):