BOOK CLUB: When It All Went To Custard

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Author: Danielle Hawkins
ISBN: 9781775541417
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 15 April 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

I first read Danielle Hawkins back in 2016 and I loved her style and her story telling. Her titles are food-centric and I love that…. and I still want to go back and read Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.

I read The Pretty Delicious Café and there was a café at the heart of the story. I’m not sure where food fits into When It All Went To Custard but it’s a much more family friendly way to end that phrase than any of the words I’m thinking of.

Jenny Reynolds wasn’t having a great day and then she found out about her husband’s affair and things got a lot more complicated.

Single motherhood was never part of the plan, the children are still young and devastated by the separation and the family farm may also be jeopardised by the current state of affairs.

When It All Went To Custard covers the year after Jenny’s life fell apart. It’s a story of family, farming, pets, neighbours and new beginnings.

I haven’t had the time to pick this one up, though I hope to find it soon, but I have just read the first chapter and it shows delicious promise with warmth and humour from the very first page.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I wasn’t enjoying the afternoon of 23 February even before I learnt that my husband was having an affair …

The news of her husband’s infidelity comes as a nasty shock to Jenny Reynolds, part-time building control officer and full-time mother – even though, to her surprise and embarrassment, her first reaction is relief, not anguish. What really hurts is her children’s unhappiness at the break-up, and the growing realisation that, alone, she may lose the family farm.

This is the story of the year after Jenny’s old life falls apart; of family and farming, pet lambs and geriatric dogs, choko-bearing tenants and Springsteen-esque neighbours. And of just perhaps a second chance at happiness.

I look forward to reading what our members thought of this one.

Danielle Hawkins can be followed on Facebook.

When It All Went To Custard is published by HarperCollins Australia and is available now where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HarperCollins Australia 11 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading When It All Went To Custard so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: When It All Went To Custard

  1. When it all went to custard – Danielle Hawkins

    Thank you to Beauty & Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this book. This was my first book written by Danielle Hawkins.

    Jenny is a single mum in New Zealand struggling with farm life and work life. There were a few parts of this book I found myself laughing out loud.

    Don’t you dad me, young Jennifer. Now, if your life will be blighted without that waste of space, you stay with him by all means. But if you are thinking of letting him come crawling back just so you can pay the damn farm lease, then you need to get a grip.

    Jenny was a woman of today dealing with ex husbands, new relationships and she did it quite well. The way Danielle has described young Nathan describes a hectic young boy.

    However this book was good until 3/4 of the way in and then it was a chore to read it and was speed reading to get it finished. Overall I would rate it 3 out of 5.

  2. From the title and the cover I thought that this was going to be a funny book set in the English Countryside. To my surprise, it was actually set in New Zealand, and was only mildly amusing.

    It was alright. I loved the start of the book, I thought it had a lot of potential. Harry had the potential to bring in more humour to the book, but he was a bit sad and pathetic in the end. The new love interest wasn’t very interesting, in fact, he was a bit boring as a character. Dave was just a horrible, self-absorbed person – how did Jenny not see through him earlier? And I felt so sorry for those sheep!

    I loved Jenny. The kids were great. The sister was awful (in a good way – great character!). I would have liked more time getting to know the parents, and the “lodger” John was both funny and cringe-worthy at the same time.

    The romance was underwhelming. “Some time later, having very kindly supplied me with the nicest sexual experience of my life, he sighed and rolled away from me.” I kinda like a little more than that. I don’t need every move that he made (some authors supply way too much detail!), but a few steamy details wouldn’t go astray.

    If I love a book, I read it in 2 or 3 days. This one took me 12 days to read. I would read a bit, and I did enjoy it while I was reading it. But the story just didn’t grab me enough to get me to pick it up again and keep reading. 3 ½ stars.

  3. Thankyou B&L for the chance to read this one! However I don’t really have much positive to say about it, I have to agree with Jenny (above) the name makes me think of hilarity of split family life set in England. I was surprised to find it set in New Zealand and mildly amusing at best.

    I found the entire book rather lack-luster and underwhelming. I like to power my way through a book but I really found this one a chore to read, it took me nearly 3 weeks to get through

    It read less like a romance novel and more like a boring diary entry to me. I would have been really disappointed if I had bought this book

  4. Loved reading When It All Went Custard
    So typically these days are affairs but to find out what Jennifer did was overwhelming but also thinking how could you not see it, loved that her sister was so self absorbed and could turn anything back on to herself. I did feel bad for those poor sheep but reality is times are tough these days and people do take advantage but Marcus knew when John came his time was up. Would of liked to know more about the parents but overall a very enjoyable and realistic book. Thanks Danielle Hawkins for a great read and Beauty & Lace for the privilege to review

  5. Jenny Reynolds is the central character in this family/farm/rural NZ story, with a nice romance tossed in to sweeten the deal. The news of her husband’s infidelity with the neighbour’s wife comes as a shock – but unexpectedly, some relief. Things haven’t been brilliant for a while. The ensuing separation and outfall for Jenny’s children and family ricochet around, with varied reactions. Of major consideration is the fact she might lose the family farm, part of the family’s identity for years. What I loved most about this book was the way Jenny coped with everything with grace (although sometimes losing it – as you would) and wry humour, although some days were dark indeed. She’s a tremendous Mum to her young children, who sounded like busy, smart, slightly emotionally wobbly kids due to the marriage break-up. She didn’t resort to emotional blackmail like her husband did. She cared about her sister, who was very prickly and rather insensitive, and for her retired parents. She enjoyed her fairly dull work and coped with the tension there. She was nice to a garrulous and annoying (but desperately lonely) old man living on the property. She loved planting flowers. She nurtured her old dog and newborn lambs. She did stuff for the school and the community, even though the effort was tremendous, considering she was now running the farm and working in town. Wonder woman! And then there’s her quiet neighbour Andrew Faulkner, who broke the news about his wife and Jenny’s husband… Somewhere in there might be a second – and better – chance for romance. This was an easy and very enjoyable read. It charmed me. Thanks so much to Harper&Collins Australia and Beauty&Lace Bookclub for the book!

  6. I enjoyed this book, but like some of the reviews above, it did take me a little while to read. It also wasn’t exactly what I expected.

    Nevertheless, I did really enjoy the rural charm of the novel – loved the setting in NZ! Loved the characters and getting to know them all. It was a light read, and one I would recommend to those who love a rural setting and rich characters.

  7. Danielle Hawkins’ When it All Went To Custard was a whimsical and enjoyable read set in beautiful rural NZ. I really warmed to Jenny and I think her central, relatable character really tied the whole book together. I loved Harry at first, although his character kind of faded out a little toward the end. Life with young children was very well realised and their relationships were fabulous. On the downside, I felt like the ending was quite abrupt.

    Overall an enjoyable novel with good characters, humour and lovely landscapes. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins Australia.

  8. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins Australia for the opportunity to read Danille Hawkin’s When It All Went To Custard.

    I’ve read all of the author’s previous books and loved them so I was really looking forward to this book.

    I found this to be an easy, mostly enjoyable read. It was slow in parts, and I did get a little frustrated at some of the characters and the choices they made.

    Overall a nice, light read, with relatable characters and lovely settings.

  9. Thank you to Beauty & Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this book. Written by Danielle Hawkins, this novel prooved to be a lovely, open, cheeky and different take on new relationships, old ones and beginning again.

    Jenny finds herself in the impossible situation of finding out her husband is a cheater, the lease of the farm off her parents isnt profitable, her worker is skipping off and she doesn’t know how to move forward as a single mum to her two beautiful children.
    Knowing her relationship is a failed one, Jenny quickly has to start making changes, pushing the boundaries and creating a life that works.
    I enjoyed the light hearted, bantery type style of writing. It is a quick and light read.
    I really enjoyed this novel and will look out for more books for Danielle Hawkins in the future.

  10. Thank you Beauty and Lace for selecting me to review this book.

    Poor Jenny, no one wants to go through what she went through. Some relationships are doomed from the start. You find this out during the book.

    This was a romance novel but not enough romance throughout the book. At times I wanted to push it along.

    This book was too predictable and did not impress me.

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