All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Dangers Of Truffle Hunting by Sunni Overend

on January 4, 2017

dangers-of-truffle-huntingThe Dangers Of Truffle Hunting
Sunni Overend
Harper Collins AUS
2016, 352p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Is life too short to play it safe?

Kit Gossard’s life is neatly mapped out. A secure photographic job. A partner ready to commit. A wedding in the family vineyard for her mother to preside over. So why the apprehension? Why a hunger for something … more?

Then someone new appears. Earthy, reserved, magnetic, this new man brings out feelings she has long suppressed, and suddenly Kit can’t contain her simmering discontent. Black truffle hunting, illicit pastry lessons, vine fruit on flesh – Kit is seduced. It feels right. Before it all goes wrong.

Artful, sexy, sophisticated, The Dangers Of Truffle Hunting explores how a man can be more to a woman than a destination.

I love the food channel and watching people cook and I also love reading books that feature food or revolve around it in some way. In this novel, Kit’s parents own vineyards and her father is planning on purchasing the land next door where he has been cultivating crops for a new venture. Kit is a food photographer but she seems to have been pushed into this sort of work by her fiance Scott, who is seen as very “steady” and “stable”. He designs/creates furniture and doesn’t give Kit the sort of passion or encouragement that she craves anymore. He thinks that she should focus on her food photography despite the fact that it doesn’t fulfill her at all.

What Kit actually wants to photograph are messier, dirtier things. She doesn’t want food sitting looking perfect and fake, she wants to see it enjoyed, crushed, smeared etc. She begins photographing her own things for her own online magazine as part of a creative outlet…..inspired by a worker at her parent’s vineyard, someone who is everything that her staid fiance is not.

Kit is an interesting character but she was also quite a frustrating one although on some levels I can understand it because it seems to many people seem to want to shoehorn her into being something that she isn’t. Scott doesn’t play a particularly large role in this story and although he does seem to care for Kit, it’s in a sort of distracted way, like he cares about how their lives look. The foodie photographer and the hot furniture designer getting married and setting themselves up for a charmed life. Kit is at times, crying out for attention from him, desperately trying to get him to notice her or show her some affection but he’s disinterested and yet Kit keeps persisting with this for far longer than really seems realistic. Even after she meets someone else that challenges her and inspires her. Even after she realises that this buttoned up life is not really what she wants. She does have to deal with the fact that Raph, the person she meets working on her parent’s farm, is not exactly who she thought he was….and that seems to be her motivation for going back to what she knows is safe and secure. But….I’m not sure why she had to keep persevering with Scott when it clearly wasn’t satisfying her. Her mother is overly critical of Kit’s weight and appearance and seems more suited to being some sort of Paris fashionista rather than the wife of a vineyard owner. She’s always questioning her daughter in a manner that borders on cruel and Kit seemed wearily conditioned to accept this judgement of her looks. Her mother also pressures her to set a wedding date to Scott, accompanying her wedding dress shopping, taking over and just being generally horrible about everything. Likewise in her professional life, Kit finds herself so constricted by her uptight food magazine employer and every time she tries to attempt to add some of her own creativity to the brief, she is shot down. Everywhere she turns in her life……..except in one or two directions, there are people and things working against her.

Perhaps that is why I did love the dynamic between Raph and Kit….he had this whole mysterious “slightly assholy but not completely” thing going on and the way in which his story played out was really enjoyable and I actually didn’t see it coming which made the reveal pretty shocking. I really liked the way that he brought out Kit’s personality, made her want things and focus on the sort of photography that she was really interested in. Raph was my sort of character….interesting and hiding quite a large secret. He’s not entirely likable for a large portion of the story because he’s so mysterious and stand offish and clearly there are some possibly nefarious things afoot when his secrets begin to come out but he’s also not unlikable either. He and Kit both heave their flaws but you can see how they would actually work together whereas it was impossible to see Scott as doing anything other than stifling Kit and making her feel as though she needed to act in a completely different way.

I did enjoy this book although it was not without a few issues for me…..I didn’t really see the necessity of the plot featuring Kit’s friend and brother, which seemed random and sloppily constructed with no real sort of direction. Kit’s relationship with Scott also felt drawn out for too long to be believable, especially when people are trying to reason with her and she seems to be deliberately burying her head in the sand and ignoring all of the glaring signs. But ultimately I did very much like the read, especially the settings and the descriptions of food and the workings of the vineyard.

8/10

Book #218 of 2016

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