Today dear reader I am one of the bloggers kicking off the tour for Food For Thought (Published on 4 July 2020) By Sara Madderson. A big thank you to the author for my copy, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite, you make being a part of this community amazing, thank you.
Food For Thought
“The Daily Post has got hold of some pap shots of me. They’re fairly… damning.”
What do you do when the person you love threatens everything you’ve worked for?
Evelyn Macleod has spent a decade helping her husband, charismatic TV chef Seb Macleod, to become a household name. Now they’re riding high and enjoying the spoils of their success. When a tabloid forces Seb to come out as gay, Evelyn and her young son flee to a friend’s luxury resort in rural Kent. Sorrel Farm is the perfect place to hide out, decompress from her disciplined London lifestyle, and comfort-eat. The enforced break also throws into question everything that Evelyn has worked so hard for. Should she continue to chase the glittering heights of wealth and power in London? Or should she choose balance—and the chance to find love—in the beautiful English countryside?
About The Author
Sara Madderson is an author, entrepreneur, wife and mother. She was born in Ireland and moved to the UK with her family when she was ten years old. She lives in London with her husband Chris, their two children, Paddy and Tilly, and their cocker spaniel Charlie.
Before turning to writing, Sara worked in finance for a decade and then ran her own fashion brand, Madderson London, for eight years. She earned her MPhil in Early Modern History from the University of Birmingham.
Metamorphosis is Sara’s first book. Given that she spent most of her childhood writing and designing clothes, she’s now seen both of her childhood career dreams come true! She’s enjoyed the adventure of publishing independently as much as she’s enjoyed the writing process itself. She’s now completely hooked on writing!
From the outside Evelyn’s life is perfect. Married to celebrity chef Seb and CEO of his vast eponymous food empire, they are the Beckhams of the food world. Seb is charismatic, handsome and has the natural ability to make you feel like the only person in the room. Everyone adores him. He is the face of their business, the talent and is obsessed with celebrating only the best, freshest produce. Evelyn has spent years building the brand and steering it in a new direction. They work effortlessly as a team and are well matched in their work ethic. However things aren’t always as they seem are they dear reader? The tabloids have photos of Seb that threaten to expose the secrets and lies he has kept hidden from Evelyn for years. As he drops the bombshell onto her that he is gay Evelyn’s life explodes into chaos. She flees with their eight year old son Eddie to her friend Jess’ luxury resort in rural Kent, Sorrel Farm, for some much needed R and R. She begins to question everything she has worked hard for. Evelyn is now faced with the choice of returning to her fast-paced life in London and continuing to work with Seb. Or maybe, just maybe take a chance on love in the breathtaking countryside and rediscover herself.
The narrative is told in third person and follows Evelyn as she tries to make sense of Seb’s confession. Her world is shattered in seconds as Seb admits he was caught by photographers outside a gay club in Soho. They have been married for 9 years and he admitted that he cheats on her once a fortnight. He does his best to limit the damage by assuring her that her and Eddie are his real life and being gay is something he deals with privately on the side. He’s known since school that he was attracted to men but wanted to focus on his career. It’s a part of his life she’s never seen and he’s kept separate. Evelyn’s emotions are all over the place yet she is still focused enough to make the needed arrangements to find a solution so the business and their careers survive this ordeal. It is only once she is at Sorrel Farm, away from Seb and the stressful demands of her job that it sinks in. Soon the whole world will know her husband is gay. You feel for her and hope she doesn’t give up. It makes you feel angry on her behalf but also sad for Seb as he forced himself to hide who he really is. Sometimes honesty is the best policy, less people end up getting hurt and life is too short to pretend to be something you’re not.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Evelyn’s character development. When you first meet her it becomes clear pretty quickly that she is a hard working, organised woman. By the time it is 7:30am she has already completed a 30 minute bootcamp workout online, 20minutes of meditation practice, recited daily affirmations, read a chapter of a book on productivity, checked and answered emails, showered, blow-dried her hair, applied make-up, dressed and had a cup of coffee. Phew, just typing that is making me feel exhausted. She loves mornings as she views them as a fresh start. Each day can be approached with multiple opportunities. However with the unexpected collapse of her marriage Evelyn decides to adopt Jess’ ‘Fuck It’ philosophy. She begins indulging more in food and enjoying the results. During her stay at the farm she learns more about how they grow and prepare food. It’s inspiring to read her adapt a new approach to life and allow herself to enjoy the fruits it has to offer. She allows herself to finally surrender and accept the lie that was their marriage. It’s empowering and makes you fist pump the air for her bravery and strength.
The first meeting between Evelyn and Angus made me giggle. She feels an instant attraction to him as she tries to convince herself otherwise and stay focused. I loved reading them together as it was calming and steals you away to the isolated quietness of the countryside. Bliss. Evelyn begins to feel the life of the farm as Angus talks more to her about his connection to the earth. You can’t help but smile as they filrt and spend time together. It’s clear they like each other and find yourself shouting “JUST KISS ALREADY!” You are desperate for Evelyn to find happiness and love again. Angus gives you hope that no matter what life throws at you, things have a harmonious way of working out.
I could smell the flowers from the moment Evelyn and Eddie drove into the countryside. Madderson captures the beauty and relaxing atmosphere of the country as you see the light through the trees and hear the birds singing. It was heaven and I could have just stayed there forever. I fully envisioned myself watching the sunset with a glass of wine while chatting to Evelyn, Angus, Jess and Zoe while listening to jazz. Beautiful.
This book made me hungry, so, so hungry. I craved the appetising dishes that were served up. I felt incredibly humbled during my stay at the farm. They do biodynamic farming and feel a connection to the earth. Zoe, Jess’ wife shows Evelyn how she prepares the food. It was mesmerising reading them gently wash leaves and roll them up in a towel to dry. They make food that feeds the soul and draws you to this appetising way of life.
I give Food For Thought By Sara Madderson a Five out of Five paw rating.
A delicious story of rediscovering yourself while taking a chance at love as you indulge in a plate of heartwarming, honest food. This book will make you feel all cosy and snuggly as the breathtaking scenery of Kent steals your heart. Bon appetit!
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
Hop hop wiggle wiggle