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No Place I’d Rather Be

by Cathy Lamb (Goodreads Author)
4.91  ·  Rating Details ·  11 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Food, family, and secrets combine in Cathy Lamb’s emotional and deeply honest novel as one woman discovers the recipes and life lessons that have shaped her family’s past, and could guide her toward a second chance at happiness.

Two years ago, Olivia Martindale left behind her Montana hometown and her husband, Jace, certain it was the best decision for both of them. Back temporarily to protect her almost-adopted daughters from their biological mother, she discovers an old, handwritten cookbook in the attic. Its pages are stained and torn, their edges scorched by flame. Some have been smeared by water . . . or tears. The recipes are written in different hands and in different languages. In between the pages are intriguing mementos, including a feather, a pressed rose, a charm, and unfamiliar photographs.

Hoping the recipes will offer a window into her grandmother’s closely guarded past, Olivia decides to make each dish, along with their favorite family cake recipes, and records her attempts. The result, like much of her life to date, involves a parade of near-disasters and chaotic appearances by her doctor mother, her blunt grandma, her short-tempered sister, and Olivia’s two hilarious daughters. The project is messy, real and an unintended hit with viewers.

Even more surprising is the family history Olivia is uncovering, and her own reemerging ties to Montana, and to Jace. Generations of women have shared these recipes, offering strength and nourishment to each other and their loved ones. Now it’s Olivia s turn to find healing and determine where her home and her heart truly belong. (less)

Paperback, 480 pages
Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
1496709810 (ISBN13: 9781496709813)
  • No Place I'd Rather Be


Kudos to Cathy Lamb, author of “No Place I’d Rather Be” for writing such a descriptive and intriguing story of  family, life, and love. The recipe of  family and love, is based on an old family cookbook, where the ingredients include, history, secrets, tears, blood, sweat, tradition, faith, despair and hope. Symbolically this recently found cookbook registers several generations of family that have  recorded struggles to survive under adverse circumstance. Family pictures and drawings and special recipes for favorite family foods are written in this book.

The genres for this book are fiction, historical fiction and a dash of romance. The timeline for this story is mostly in the present with visits to the past to explain the times and characters.

Cathy Lamb describes the characters as complex and complicated. Olivia Martindale, famous chef returns home to her family in Montana.  Olivia is accompanied by two young girls, sisters, that she hopes to adopt. The girls come from an abusive mother and father, and Olivia wants them to provide them with a safe home full of love and safety. I really like Olivia’s family. Olivia’s grandmother holds many secrets, but is the voice of reason. Olivia’s mother is a physician, who tells it like it is. She “shoots” from the hip. Olivia’s sisteris courageous, quirky and fun.  I especially like Kyle, Olivia’s nephew, that has a big heart. When the family is upset, they bake and cook, and whip up  intriguing creations. Cooking and the newly discovered cookbook helps to bring the family together.

It is difficult for Olivia to come home to Montana.  She has been separated from her husband Jake. Olivia has secrets of her own.

I appreciate that Cathy Lamb brings up historical references to the persecution of minorities. The author also discusses issues such as bullying, drug abuse, mental illness, autism and children on the spectrum.  I love that Cathy Lamb describes family, love, hope and faith.   I would highly recommend this novel as a captivating and enjoyable layered  story. I received an advance review copy from NetGalley and the Great Thoughts Ninja Review team for my honest review.




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