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The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel by…
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The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel

by Barbara O'Neal

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This story is one of the best I have read. The tale is about four bloggers, the Foodie Four. None really knows the other. They may have only met once, if that, but they are the very best of friends. Lavender, a feisty former stewardess, owns and runs a lavender farm in Oregon. Ruby, a young vegan, still searching for life everywhere she looks, is pregnant with a child by a former lover she now detests, blogs about food. Valerie, a former prima donna ballet, is still recovering from a tragic loss of husband and daughters in a plane crash, once blogged about wine, but not doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to do that at this point. Finally, Ginny, from Dead Gulch, Kansas, stuck in a loveless marriage and a dead-end life where she never can seem to win approval or affirmation, blogs about cakes. They all convene at Lavender’s farm for Lavender’s 85th birthday. Getting to the farm becomes a real life learning task/lesson for each of the bloggers. In the story, we meet them though their blogs, their interactions, their hopes and dreams and histories. I loved the way the author developed the back stories for each woman, and I loved the way the author wove these together, but not without some personal trial, tribulation, heartache and joy. I could not decide which character I enjoyed or loved most—or identified with more. All of them are going through what we all do in different but meaningful ways. I have not read any other books by this author, but am now going to add her books to my must-read books, for Barbara O’Neal has shown that she can write, and write well. I think anyone who enjoys a good book and who has experienced the ups and downs of life and friendships will enjoy and relate to this book. I received this from NetGalley to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Apr 27, 2014 |
It will soon be Lavender’s 85th birthday and she wants to celebrate it with her blogger friends; affectionately known as the Foodie Four named after their food blogs. Each woman is as different as night and day—Lavender, never married, owns an organic Lavender Farm where she raises chickens, and harvests lavender and honey. Ruby is in her 20’s, pregnant, unmarried, grieving lost love and searching. Ginny is almost forty, in a loveless marriage and she has never left Kansas even though she’s really famous because of her blog about Cakes and Photographs. Valerie is a retired renowned ballerina who was recently and tragically widowed. They all live in different States, and the trip to Lavender’s Oregon farm will be more than a nice vacation as they make discoveries about their selves, and if one of them will be the next heir to Lavender’s farm.

As with Barbara O’Neal’s other books this one is enhanced by yummy recipes. She has blog pages, and photos in between the chapters. Definitely chick-lit, although some men would like reading it, and there are a few interesting male characters. There is sexual content, mostly fantasizing and some language. This is the 3rd book I’ve read by Barbara O’Neal and she is a great story teller, her characters are true to life I just wish she’d write more G rated books :-) 4 stars. ( )
  PamelaBarrett | Feb 9, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034553686X, Paperback)

Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah and Susan Wiggs—Barbara O’Neal’s new novel of food, friendship, and the freedom to grow your dreams brings together four very different women longing to savor the true taste of happiness.
 
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?
 
There’s Ginny, the freckle-faced Kansas cake baker whose online writing is about to lead her out of a broken marriage and into a world of sensual delights. And Ruby, young, pregnant, devoted to the organic movement, who’s looking for roots—and the perfect recipe to heal a shattered heart. Finally, Val, smart and sophisticated, a wine enthusiast who needs a fresh start for her teenage daughter after tragedy has rocked their lives. Coming together will change the Foodie Four in ways they could never have imagined, uniting them in love and a common purpose. As they realize that life doesn’t always offer a perfect recipe for happiness, they also discover that the moments worth savoring are flavored with some tears, a few surprises, and generous helping of joy.
 
Praise for the novels of Barbara O’Neal
 
“[A] warm . . . romance about the healing powers of nature, love and community.”—Kirkus Reviews, on The Garden of Happy Endings
 
“Absorbing . . . [with] lovingly sketched characters and real emotion.”—Publishers Weekly, on How to Bake a Perfect Life

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:12:42 -0400)

"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?"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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