Saturday, March 15, 2014

The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O'Neal

I've discovered I like Barbara O'Neal.  I've seen her books on the shelves at work for years, but never picked one up.  Now I have, and I'm trying to figure out how I can read the rest of her titles sometime in the next few months.  I think every time I finish a paper for school I'll reward myself with one of her novels.  The key is to buy the book after I've finished the paper and not before.  

The All You Can Dream Buffet is Barbara's latest novel, and it combines two things I love:  lavender and food.  It takes place on Lavender Honey Farms, run by Lavender Wills.  She's become friends with three other women who blog:  Ginny, a cake blogger, Ruby, who's blog revolves around organic eating; and Val, who has a popular wine blog.  
It's time to celebrate Lavender's 85th birthday and she's invited the three women to her farm to celebrate.  

There's more to Lavender's invitation, however.  She wants to leave her farm and its successful business of honey, lavender, and organic produce to one of the women.  She's afraid her nephews will sell the land to a developer and can't bear for that to happen.  Who will be the lucky woman?  

Each woman bring her own backstory to the novel.  Ruby is a young pregnant woman trying to figure out her life.  Ginny is traveling from Kansas for the first time in her life, running away from an unhappy marriage.  Val is struggling to connect with her daughter after a family tragedy.  

The author includes "pages" of blogs as the women post, which adds to the feel of the novel.  The food, the descriptions of the farm and the lavender all combine to make this a novel I just loved--and put me in the mood for Spring.  

My only issue with this novel is the cover.  It doesn't match the story at all!  I think it should be a farm scene, or lavender fields.  But ignore the cover, and enjoy the story.  

Rating:  8/10 for wonderful descriptions of an organic farm, the workings of a lavender business, and the food!  And characters that are warm and wonderful.

Available in paperback and ebook.  

Side note:  I've worked really hard in the past few years to stay out of the "where to buy this book" discussion due to my personal feelings about bookstores and their vital importance to communities.  But I understand that making my blog a friendlier place means making it possible for my readers to quickly find and order the books I review.  So with that in mind, I've added an Amazon link, and I am working on putting in a Barnes & Noble link.  I've also begun linking my reviews on my "Books I've Read" page for 2014.  I'll be adding links to older reviews throughout the year.  Thanks for all your input!


  1. The book sounds great. Congrats on 100 followers. I don't mind the Amazon link but maybe you could add links of other booksellers such as Books a Million or an independent store like Parnassus in Nashville

    1. I am working on adding B&N and Books A Million.