- Title: The All You Can Dream Buffet
- Author: Barbara O’Neal
- Genre: Fiction
- Published: March 2014 – Bantam
- Source: Publisher
Synopsis: Popular blogger and foodie queen Lavender Wills reigns over Lavender Honey Farms, a serene slice of organic heaven nestled in Oregon wine country. Lavender is determined to keep her legacy from falling into the profit-driven hands of uncaring relatives, and she wants an heir to sustain her life’s work after she’s gone. So she invites her three closest online friends—fellow food bloggers, women of varied ages and backgrounds—out to her farm. She hopes to choose one of them to inherit it—but who? (publisher)
My take: The author’s name was the first thing to draw me to The All You Can Dream Buffet and then the synopsis pulled me right in. I’m a fan of Barbara O’Neal’s novels. Her evocative descriptions always make me feel as if I’m in the background observing what’s going on in each scene.
The characters and their specific issues engaged me from the start. Ruby, a vegan chef and food blogger, went through a shocking break up with her boyfriend of six years and can’t get over him. Ginny, a cake blogger and photographer, can’t wait to meet her online friends and is ready to make big changes. Val, a wine blogger, and her daughter are on their way to a new life after suffering a devastating loss. They all meet up at Lavender’s farm for her 85th birthday party. Little do they know she hopes to make one of them heir to her farm. This is a story of change and second chances and I cheered for each woman along the way.
I liked this novel but after finishing wished it could have been longer. Since the book is 400 pages I wonder if a lot had been cut which made the ending seem a bit rushed. All that aside, if you’re a fan of the author, novels with a food theme, recipes and just a touch of magical realism you might want to read The All You Can Dream Buffet. I’m glad I did.