Book Review: Duck à l’Orange for Breakfast by Karina May

About the Book:

Maxine ‘Max’ Mayberry, an ad executive with writing ambitions, is holed up in a friend’s apartment after discovering her long-term boyfriend in bed with another woman. If that wasn’t bad enough, Max has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Enter Johnny: a cheeky yet charming Tinder pen pal and the perfect distraction. Together, Max and Johnny flirt and cook their way through The Laurent Family Cookbook (a recipe book from Max’s ex-boyfriend’s pretentious French family) without ever meeting in person.

The ‘Fork Him’ project starts as a joke, but soon transforms into something more meaningful as Max undergoes brain surgery, travels to Paris for a fresh start, and decides whether she believes in herself enough to chase the life – and the man – she really wants.

Published by Pan Macmillan Australia

Released 28th March 2023

My Thoughts:

This was utterly divine. Billed as a romance, it’s also firmly foodlit and lifelit, both of which I am always a fan of. The romance aspect was woven into the story in a very Austen-like fashion, in that, it wasn’t the whole focus, nor did it come across as formulaic. The majority of this story was very much about Max, realigning her priorities in light of her brain tumour, as well as rediscovering what makes her joyful, what gives her life purpose, and which relationships she wanted to nurture and which she was more inclined to just let go of. Friendship was a big focus within this story as well.

“Life is going to throw you some curveballs, but don’t you dare let anyone dull that sparkle. You owe it to the world to share your gifts, but more than that – you owe it to yourself.”

I loved the online relationship that sprung up between Max and Johnny, cooking their way through this cookbook, meeting each night for dinner via their photographs of their completed dishes. It was fresh and unique. I find any type of fiction that revolves around food delightful, to be honest, it’s such a fantastic lynchpin for a story, particularly a romance or friendship focused one. I also enjoyed Max’s Ikea excursions; it made me wish I had one nearby!

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this one. It’s heart-warming, funny, filled with all sorts of deliciousness, it even has a trip to France nestled within it that was incredibly atmospheric. The love shines through, not just romantic love, but that between friends and family, and all in all, it was an utter delight.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Duck à l’Orange for Breakfast by Karina May

  1. This reminds me of my ‘Covid lockdown’ birthday. (The one we recently celebrated properly in a restaurant with a bottle of Grange that I’d been keeping for 20 years for the occasion.)
    I ordered a banquet from a local Vietnamese restaurant that would deliver in two places: to us, and to our best friends in another suburb. And at the appointed time we cranked up Zoom. We opened our bubbly and they opened theirs, and we had a fabulous dinner in digital company!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s