Diversity, Fiction, Loved-it, NetGalley, Romance, Women's

[Slice of Life] Fall In Love With All The Characters, And They’re Diverse Too The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton

I stayed up till 3 on a workday because I couldn’t unglue myself from my Kindle screen. Off this book. Then I proceeded to tell the whole soap-opera like plot of The Sunday Lunch Club to my boyfriend right before breakfast. In a roughly panicked, nearly screamy tone. With loads of hand flapping.

This was supposed to be a feel good book!


Whoops, that might have contained mild spoilers. But you might have guessed that this book:

a) is very diverse
b) kept me on the edge
c) had lots of lovely characters
d) ARGHTJSKHSGJS!!!!!!1111


Is that enough for you to want to read it?

If not, then let me try again.

I Don’t Know Who You’d Have To Be To Not Be Able To Relate To The Sunday Lunch Club

…That said, although guys might be able to relate to this book as well, I think it’s meant more for women. Anyway, but! It’s got gay dads. It’s got adoptees. It’s got trans people. It’s got straight people. It’s got foreigners. It’s got PoC. And aside from all the minority (or majority) groups, it’s got all sorts of twists to life you could think of! Yes, they’re all very worrying. I was at the edge of my seat.

Speaking Of Which, You Can’t NOT Root For The Characters

Anna’s choices are clearly not top-notch. Sam’s a mumbler grumbler. Maeve’s a pseudo hippie, but only when it’s convenient. Neil is a married gay man who is secretly pretty much just a straight sexist traditionalist, except he likes guys (and the sexist bit is infuriating, but exceptionally well written!) And, so what? They’ve all got their flaws – but in the end that just makes you love them more. I couldn’t help but be attached to all of them. It’s not easy to have a HUGE cast of characters and make the reader fall in love with all of them and feel connected. That’s a feat.

…Especially Dinkie. Gosh, I was so worried about that fragile, wonderful grandma.

It’s Got Food In The Background, Always

I seriously find no need to say anything more..?

As You Can Already Tell, It’s Not Sprinkled With Rose Petals

I can’t place this book. It’s basically just a slice of life? A little of the good, a little of the bad? There’s a bit of romance, although it’s not about that. There’s tragedy, although it’s not about that either. And there are lunches, although obviously it’s not about that. I haven’t read a book this well balanced for a while! Strangely, The Sunday Lunch Club both does and doesn’t have a plot! It reads like real life.

It’s a story about second chances and forgiveness

Actually, The Sunday Lunch Club is a story about much more than that, but it’s also about just letting go of your mistakes and letting yourself be you, and life be life. The resolutions to all of the hangups the characters have are beautiful, but not sugary or over the top. They’re just true to life and honest. I would even say realistic, with just a touch of over-the-top-ness – for comedic effect.


It’s not that I didn’t have any problems with this book whatsoever – there were a few things I wasn’t happy about (like, okay. Would a Spanish person really forget he needs to speak English and insert random Spanish words? Have you ever seen me do that in my language? We foreigners don’t do this. It’s ridiculous.) But these things were so insignificant, compared to the novel as a whole, its honesty, sincerity and raw feeling, that I feel that they don’t really matter all that much. On the whole, this novel has been a wild emotional ride, and I’d love to take another one like that! (When I get enough sleep, I mean. Because I it won’t keep me up anymore…)

I thank Simon and Schuster UK for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read The Sunday Lunch Club or any similar books? Anything to recommend me? I would love to stay up more weeknights over a great book!

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Astrid @ Vanilla & Spice Books
Astrid @ Vanilla & Spice Books
3 years ago

OOOOO I really love the sounds of this one! And I love all of the reasons you loved it. I’m not much of a fiction reader but once in a while I can be persuaded. Wonderfully reviewed, Evelinah!

3 years ago

This sounds really great.:) And the cover of this book is gorgeous too. I’m adding this on my TBR.:)

Jackie B
3 years ago

I can 100% imagine your morning with Ebil. XD I’ve definitely done stuff like that before (re: Illuminae) to poor, poor, David. In fact, I stayed up late last night reading When Dimple Met Rishi. Only until 1:30am, though. You win. 😉

This is quite an intriguing book. I 100% want to read about the gay-sexist-traditionalist character! While I adore your review– I still don’t know what the *plot* is. Care to give a high level synopsis? I’m too lazy to Goodreads it. 😉 <3

Laura Thomas
3 years ago

I know how that feels. My son gets bombarded when I finish a book that brings out those feels. He’s very patient while rave and tell the entire plot! My dog usually rolls over and snores. LOL Loved your review and this will be going on my list.

Lydia Tewkesbury
3 years ago

Your enthusiasm is so infectious! I now need to read this.

10/10 for your GIF choices also.

Jenn @ Bound to Writing

Great review! This sounds like a really great book! I mean how can you fo wrong when there is food?! 😀

Anna Pittman
3 years ago

This sounds like such a unique book! Normally I shy away from books like this, that appear to be more character-driven, but on the other hand I’m always looking to add diversity to what I read so I will keep this book in mind next time I’m looking for something to rad.

JJ @ This Dark Material

Contemporary “slice of life” novels aren’t a genre I reach for very often, but you certainly make this one sound good! The diversity and representation is always nice to see. Happy to hear that this was such a hit for you, Evelina—great review! 🙂

3 years ago

Mkay, i must say i wasn’t interested in this book before. Didn’t know what it was about, based on the cover i thought it must be some romancey stuff or other… But now i’m kinda intrigued.

As for that language thing… we do that with my friends sometimes. But as a joke. Like put random spanish words every now and then (neither of us are spanish), or say something in french (one of us is french) 😀 in the middle of the sentence.

3 years ago

I totally added this hehe. My TBR (that is bursting at the seams) does not thank you, but I do 😉

The Orangutan Librarian

Wow this certainly sounds like a super emotional book!! And that makes me really want to check it out! Fantastic review! Sounds like quite the ride!
Love how you do your reviews btw!

Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

It does sound intriguing. Not my usual kind of read, but those usually do surprise me every now and then. 🙂

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages

I definitely love the sound of this book and I think I would love this. Thanks for the rec!
I like such stories where you don’t have to think much and simply can enjoy the flow. And yes, those little things doesn’t matter really when the overall picture is so good 🙂
I wished that buy link was not that of Book Depository 😛 Otherwise I would have hit that button. BD doesn’t ship here, I don’t know why, considering India is such a vast country.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

This sounds fantastic, Evelina! And about the language thing… there are days – especially when I’m very tired – and speaking in a language I might not speak every day where I suddenly insert a word from another language. So inserting a Spanish word here and there wouldn’t upset me at all 😀
Great review!

3 years ago

I love the sound of diversity in this hoping it’s done well and not there just because. I do need a good book for this Spring will have to add it to my next Book Depository haul

Cahleen Hudson
Cahleen Hudson
3 years ago

Just by looking at this book, I would have thought it was too “fluffy” for me if I hadn’t read your review (I have a heart of stone). Now I’m going to check it out. You have so much power over me!

Weekly Wrap Up #29 – Book Dragons
3 years ago

[…] @ Avalinahs Books reviews Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton! It sounds like such a good read with a diverse […]

3 years ago

OMG THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD! I kinda love it when a book makes me feel worried for the characters, well, not just worried, it’s the fact that I care about the wellbeing of all of them (currently reading a few books like this and I am so happy, but worried). I love slice of life – that’s the kind of anime I love to watch, and I rarely find the same thing in books but this sounds just perfect! I like books that are just about life, not a big changing event (although I like those too), but simply about… Read more »

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

Late night on a school night? Definitely the sign of a good read. It sounds like an interesting book, and definitely one I’m intrigued about. Great review.

Olivia-Savannah Roach
3 years ago

Well, lunch is my least favourite meal of the day but of course that is not going to impact my judgment on this book xD I like that this book has so much diversity and I also really like the idea of this one having such deep reader to character relationships. It sounds so serious and heart warming at the same time.


Jamie Lyn Weigt
3 years ago

Ohai! I found this post linked in a comment you made on another post, where you mentioned diversity, so of course I had to come check it out. I’ve got a YA historical fantasy full of diversity in the early works myself. This book sounds lovely, and though I don’t often read non-genre fiction, I’ll put it on my list. I’ll be sure to check out more of your site!
Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons


[…] let go of the characters, it stays with you for month. I’ve actually got a long review here, so go ahead and read it if you […]


[…] And I also reviewed a great book, The Sunday Lunch Club, which I can strongly recommend! Go on and read the review, if you haven’t […]


[…] I’ve hauled a smaller amount of ARCs in May, and I’m very happy about that. But the ones I did haul are pretty exciting! I sincerely recommend reading Have You Seen Luis Velez – I’m reading it right now and it’s the sweetest, most heart-warming story ever. I’m also quite excited about The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen, as I enjoyed the last novel by Juliet Ashton, The Sunday Lunch Club (review here). […]