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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Recipes for Melissa - Teresa Driscoll

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. A beautifully written, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story of a mother's loving legacy for her daughter - perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Lucy Dillon and JoJo Moyes.

Author: Teresa Driscoll
Title: Recipes for Melissa
Publishers: Bookouture
Publication Date: 5th June 2015
Link: Amazon

My Review

A beautiful poignant portrayal of a mother's undying love for her daughter. When Eleanor finds out she is dying she makes a decision not to let her eight year old daughter know as she wants to try and have as normal a life as possible with her. Unbeknown to her husband she makes a recipe book to be given to her daughter on her 25th birthday to help her through key times in her life. The book contains recipes which have been passed down from her own mother and photo's of Melissa as a young girl helping to make the cakes etc in the book. There are also photographs of treasured family holidays and snippets of advice and thoughts that were going through Eleanor's mind during her diagnosis and illness.
I thought this was a lovely gift for Melissa because it helped her to remember some of the happy times she shared with her mother but also allowed her mother to speak to the adult Melissa about grown up things too.
The book was thorough in showing the effect that losing a loved one has on the whole family as Melissa's father was still struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife, whilst also possibly having feelings about being ready to love again. I liked the fact that being ready to love again didn't mean he had got over his wife's death or that he loved her any less, it was just different.
Eleanor had passed on messages for her husband through the book but he was quite upset that she hadn't told him about it. She had also faced a huge dilemma as to whether or not to pass on a secret which could potentially devastate the whole family, I'm not sure what I would have done in these circumstances and I think it was a very brave decision for her to make and one that she had to make quickly as time was running out. This was a fascinating and heart breaking book which I couldn't put down and managed to read in a day. I thought I would cry but I'm pleased I didn't as there was such an element of hope throughout and loveliness that Melissa could still feel her mother's love after all those years and those happy memories could be reignited again.
I would like to thank Teresa and Bookouture and Netgalley for allowing me to review this lovely poignant, heartfelt book.

Click here to read our interview with author Teresa Driscoll.

Book Angel

About The Author

Teresa Driscoll
Teresa Driscoll is a journalist and author with 25 years' experience across newspapers, magazines and television. After training as a newspaper reporter, she joined Thames TV for five years before 15 years as the anchor of the BBC's south west regional TV news programme Spotlight.
Teresa's debut novel RECIPES FOR MELISSA was auctioned at the Frankfurt book fair between seven German publishers and has since sold in six languages. As well as the UK and Germany, it will be published in Brazil, Israel, the Czech Republic and Korea.
Teresa blogs regularly about her "writing life" at her website - She lives in glorious Devon with her husband and two sons

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