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Guest blogger: Monique Mulligan

11 October 2020

Five reasons you should read
Wherever You Go

Disclaimer: as the author, of course I won’t give you reasons not to read this book.

Taking that out of the equation, why should you read this novel? As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in ‘How Do I Love Thee’ (Sonnet 43), ‘Let me count the ways’.

At its heart, Wherever You Go is a love story (as opposed to a romance). It’s the story of Amy and Matt, a married couple going through the roughest of rough patches in their marriage. They move to a small town to save their marriage, but the spectres of grief, guilt and loss haunt them wherever they go. It’s complicated and sad and sometimes too hard, which leads to the question: is love enough? At different points, both characters have to face this question. As we know, unlike romances, love stories do not always have a happy ending … so you’ll have to read the story to find out.

The love story between parents and children—some say this is the greatest, most unconditional love of all—is also explored in various ways, as is love for one’s self (often one of the hardest loves of all).

Wherever You Go is a ‘what happens next?’ story. Do you ever wonder what happened to your favourite characters in romance stories? Do you ever wish the writer would do a ‘Where are they now?’ update? Did they really live happily ever after? I like to believe that as much as anyone, but as a writer, I’m fascinated by the ‘what happens next?’ question. I can vividly imagine Amy and Matt meeting in some laugh-out-loud way (when I write romance, I favour rom-coms) and falling head-over-heels for each other. Amy’s a chef, so I can imagine her introducing Matt to all manner of food, and maybe him trying to reciprocate the food-love with a disastrous meal of his own.

But this novel starts maybe ten years later, when they’ve been married a few years and things aren’t going so well. In fact, they’re falling apart. I wanted to explore the deeper side of their relationship, after the initial flames of passion have died down to the occasional hot coal. I wanted to really test them, without the guarantee of the happy ending that a romance. And so I did.

If you love good food, you’re going to love the foodie aspect of Wherever You Go. Yes, Wherever You Go is food fiction (some might even say #foodporn). There are feasts and cakes and cooking scenes … and even a couple of recipes at the back (more on my website).

I love good food and I love to cook for people—I believe sharing a meal is good for the soul. When you are eating with others, it opens people up to each other—they share stories and experiences. And of course, food is a great equaliser, because we all eat. We can all relate to experiences like those shared in the book.

My hope is that my writing will transport you to Amy’s supper club, giving you a sensory experience that makes your mouth water and tummy grumble.

As well as teasing your tummy, it will tease your emotions (I hope). I’ve been told that tissues may be needed at times, and that there are a few giggle-worthy moments, mostly courtesy of a little girl called Ashlee (she’s adorable).

It will take you on a journey—firstly, to a fictional small town called Blackwood (it’s based on Bridgetown, Western Australia); secondly, to your own heart, as you imagine what you would do in Amy and Matt’s place. I still don’t know the answer to that.

I could go on forever, but I hope this piques your interest.

Wherever You Go

A life-shattering tragedy threatens to tear apart chef Amy Bennet’s marriage. Desperate to save it, she moves with her husband Matt to Blackwood, a country town where no one knows who they are.

Forced to deal with her crumbling marriage and the crippling grief that follows her wherever she goes, Amy turns to what she knows best: cooking. She opens a café showcasing regional seasonal produce, and forms the Around the World Supper Club, serving mouth-watering feasts to new friends. As her passion for food returns, she finds a place for herself in Blackwood. But when a Pandora’s Box of shame and blame is unlocked, Matt gives Amy an ultimatum that takes their marriage to the edge.

Available from 18 September in print and ebook from online retailers such as Booktopia or via my website. You can also ask your bookshop or library to order a copy.

You can find Monique here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

One Comment
  1. 11 October 2020 1:02 pm

    I often wonder what happens afterwards which is why I am writing my series the way I am (slow:) and steady). Loved this post.

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