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Three single women in their fifties meet when they join a choir. Lucy, recently widowed, is a cook and food journalist; Joanna, a successful business woman, never married; Rebecca is a divorced interior decorator. Each of the women is at a crossroads and they quickly form a bond. The trio decide to combine their talents to restore a crumbling pile in Cornwall and turn it into a cookery school and spa. The project brings its own conflicts, both professional and personal. The vel's themes touch on the sustaining power of female friendship and how a woman copes with mid life and onwards. Prue's narrative voice is warm, witty, wise, very accessible. Her characters are sympathetic and engaging: very different women but each with demons to face as she gets older and confronts a future without - perhaps - a man in it. Her kwledge of food and business adds detail and zest, enriching an already compelling tale.
As a cook, restaurateur, food writer and business woman, Prue Leith has played a key role in the revolution of Britain's eating habits since the 1960s, and was recently announced as one of the judges on Channel 4's Great British Bake Off. With twelve cookery books under her belt, Prue gave up writing about food to concentrate on fiction. She has written five contemporary novels and a memoir, Relish. The Prodigal Daughter is the second novel in a trilogy that began with The Food of Love. All Prue's books are in print with Quercus. She lives in Gloucestershire. Follow her on on Twitter @PrueLeith