#BookReview: Supper Club by Lara A Williams @Lara_A_Williams @PenguinUKBooks #SupperClub #PublicationDayEve #BookBlogger

I have been so excited to share my thoughts on Lara A Williams’ debut novel Supper Club, in which a copy was gifted to me from Penguin. It skyrocketed to the top of my TBR pile, and the only thing I regret is that I waited so long to post my review!

Supper Club is a 272 page novel that holds a bloody big punch! It’s published tomorrow in paperback, ebook and audible format, you, lovely reader, can grab your copy here.

Lara Williams is the author of one short story collection, Treats, which was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Awards and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She has contributed to the Guardian, Independent, Times Literary Supplement, Vice, Dazed and others. Lara Williams lives in Manchester and Supper Club is her first novel.

It has to be one of the most impacting novels that I have had the pleasure to read! Here’s the blurb:

Twenty-nine year old Roberta has spent her whole life hungry – until the day she invents Supper Club.

Supper Club is a secret society for hungry women. Women who are sick of bad men and bad sex, of hinted expectations to talk less, take less, be less. So they gather after dark and feast until they are sick. They drink and dance and roar. And, month by month, their bodies expand.

At the centre of the Supper Club stands Roberta – cynical yet anxious, precocious and lost. She is seeking the answer to a simple question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?

This is a story about the hunger that never goes away. And it is a story about the people who make us what we are – who lead us astray and ultimately save us. You look hungry. Join the club.

I absolutely loved Supper Club, it is filled with women that are learning to overcome the repression of a patriarchal society with the aim to break out of the societal norms and expectations, as well as the constructed female stereotypes. This is an uplifting novel, one where the women, especially the main protagonist Roberta, find their tribe and their own identity – they let loose, laugh and just live how they want to, over delicious homemade food! I feel that Lara has penned a revolutionary piece of literary art, that in my opinion would be the perfect novel to include on various educational reading lists from English literature to sociology and women’s studies. Phenomenal.

I adored Roberta, her personality and hardships spoke to me on a multitude of levels. She begins to attend university, where she believes a friendship group is automatic and there will be this instantaneous connection between herself and her flatmates. Roberta was wrong, she became the invisible member of the accommodation friendship circle, no matter how hard she tried she was constantly pushed aside and labelled as odd. Roberta begins to focus all her feelings to food, where it’s seen as the ultimate tool that creates an air of togetherness. For the first few chapters of Supper Club I was completely unaware of Roberta’s name, I think this was a show on her feelings of being unseen. It wasn’t until Roberta met Stevie that we finally knew her name – she finally became seen.

I enjoyed how the foodish theme was stitched into the strong narrative. The injected theme of food is a differentiating variable, that is central to bringing these individuals together. The ability to create delicious foods is a constant in Roberta’s life which I think mirrors her need for comfort and stability – the meaningfulness entwined into this novel is layered and meaningful, that is both bold and unapologetic.

The theme that flows throughout is women who have a hunger for something more than food, love, rebellion and job. The drive to speed towards a free world, where they rebel and break in to closed premises, they want more out of life than just everyday. A powerful creation of a journey in which Roberta frees herself solitude with the key that is Stevie, her world is spun into that of a wild one. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, Roberta suffers her own toxic demons along this way that only she can claw herself away from – she’s developed from a weak mouse of a woman to a one that is filled with self – love and strength. Completely admirable.

Supper Club is a at times disjointed, but enjoyable novel journey of freedom; physically, mentally and spiritually, while not resting from anything less than your worth. Before you can love others, you need to love and rely on yourself, that is where your strength is. I thought this was a story about a woman realising that she doesn’t need the approval of a man to be happy. This is a captivating read with heaps of meaningful themes that run parallel to one another, as well as colliding that will leave you pondering and delving deeper ‘between the lines’. Lara has created a  absorbing dialogue that is filled with a multitude of emotions and realistic characters.

This is a women’s fiction novel that is an utterly breathless portrayal that shouts loudly about a woman’s hunger for more than food and I will scream it from the rooftops, read it! Buy it for yourself, a friend or even request it at your local library because it is something quite special.

Happy Reading.

 

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