Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Verant

Sophie has it all—she's chef de partie at a restaurant about to receive it's third Michelin star and her career is right on track. Unfortunately, that third star doesn't come. And Sophie finds herself blamed. And fired. 

Left with nothing, the final blow comes when she discovers that her beloved grandmother is in the hospital recovering from heart surgery. So she packs up and returns to France, a trip so long overdue that nothing looks familiar anymore. 

Her grandmother's chateau is now a fancy resort with two restaurants. And her grandmother has her own award from Michelin. But she can't run it from a hospital bed. And so it's up to Sophie, who hasn't stepped foot in a kitchen successfully since losing her job, to take over. It's a job that comes with much weight, and Sophie isn't sure she can be up to the task. But being back in France serves as a reminder of all the things that set her on this path to begin with. And if anything can bring her back, it's her grandmother's faith in her abilities!

Verant makes her fiction debut with The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux

Sophie really does feel like she has the world at her fingertips at the beginning of the book. She's confident both as a person and especially as a chef. But when she's sabotaged, by a cheating ex and fellow chef, she loses even her faith in her own talents. (Except that the sabotaging chef in question wants her to come work for him!). 

She spends weeks holed up in her room and ignoring the kitchen. And her first attempts to dig herself out of the funk are disastrous. 

And then she learns that her grandmother is sick. 

Sophie's backstory is quite interesting. Her mother had mental health issues, which Sophie actually becomes convinced might plague her as well. And there's a secret hidden in this backstory as well—the reason her mother left France in the first place and prevented Sophie from returning for so long. 

This is a character-driven family drama perfect for any foodie Francophile! 

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

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