Recipes for Melissa by Teresa Driscoll

How was it she could have something so very precious and be so terribly afraid to read it?

Title - Recipes for Melissa
Author - Teresa Driscoll
Publication Date - June 5th 2015
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)

The blurb

Is it ever too late for the gift of goodbye?

As I write now, you are eight years old - asleep in the bed next door in princess pyjamas, with a fairy costume discarded on the floor.

Twenty-five. The age I had you. The age our story began. And the age, I hope, that will see you truly ready for the things that I need to say to you...

Melissa Dance was eight years old when her mother died. They never got to say goodbye.

Seventeen years later, Melissa is handed a journal. As she smooths open the pages and begins to read her mother's words, she is instantly transported back to her childhood.

But returning to her past in painful and memories of her mother's beautiful face are a cruel reminder to Melissa that she'll never see her again.

As Melissa slowly makes her way through the precious book, reading the snippets of advice and cooking the dishes from the recipes she is also shocked to learn of her mother's secrets - secrets that if shared, could change Melissa's world forever.

Becca's thoughts

First of all, a huge thank you to Teresa Driscoll and her marvellous publishers Bookouture for providing me with a digital copy of Recipes for Melissa in exchange for a fair and honest review. I've had my eye on this book for a while now and I was so excited when I finally reached it after wading through my gigantic to-read pile, so I couldn't wait to dive in! I knew, after reading the blurb, that I was in for an emotional ride and it turned out I was right. Please note: Recipes for Melissa should be read with tissues, ice-cream, and a phone on-hand to call up your nearest and dearest to tell them you love them.

I won't re-tell the blurb, mainly because it's right up there ^^^ for you to have a read of yourself, and secondly because I want to TALK ABOUT THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY! Bookish beauts, it had it all. The emotion, the raw and real sadness, the delicacy of memories resurfacing through the retelling of a story known yet long forgotten. The unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. The unearthing of secrets, the uprooting of the present day, consequences, truths, and above all, love. I knew, after just a couple of chapters into Recipes for Melissa, that I was going to succumb to Teresa's enchanting approach to storytelling, and I was so right. There was something magical about it, yet still it felt real and believable. Something ethereal and charming, yet still, Teresa dealt with serious, life-changing circumstances. It made me cry, it made me smile, it made want to grab all of my loved ones and squeeze them extra, extra tightly, and by the end of it, it made me want to re-live the entire story again. Teresa's writing bursts at the seams with passion and love and I could tell that the author truly put her heart and soul into Melissa's story. There were aspects, emotional aspects that is, that I don't believe could have been told in such a way unless they'd been felt and experienced first hand. The writing itself flowed fluidly and, despite the pace being fantastically set, and I mean this in the best way possible, I would have continued reading even if it hadn't been because I cared about the characters so deeply, was desperate, even, to see how this beautifully moving and inspirational story would end. I already know, after finishing Recipes for Melissa last night, that I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for more exciting book news from Teresa Driscoll. The need, urge, tug, pull (call it what you will) for me to reach the finish line, panting and breathless beside Melissa, is one that I will pair with Teresa from now on.

The characters within Recipes for Melissa were fantastically structured, impeccably put together and absolutely memorable. Melissa Dance, her partner Sam, her father Max Dance and her dear mother Eleanor, all added their own, unique meanings to the novel itself. What I adored most, looking back now, was probably how Teresa chose to tell Recipes for Melissa. As I'm sure you can gather from the title, recipes do play an integral part within this story, mostly because of how easily they can conjure up memories that Melissa had thought she'd long forgotten, by their scents, flavour and even, sometimes, just from the general act of baking. Alongside the gorgeous essence of food and baking came the captivating switching of narratives, not forgetting the added switching of tense too, which I enjoyed immensely. From Melissa in the present day, to her mother writing the recipe/memory book in the past, it was moving, bitter-sweet and oh-so-breathtaking. We also get to see the story from Melissa's father Max's point of view, which gave such an interesting insight to his separate life away from his daughter. This to-ing and fro-ing between then and now reeled me in entirely. I couldn't have put it down even if I had wanted to.

As I said before, I am already dying to get my hands on Teresa's next novel, so I'll be keeping my eyes out for updates and news on that front, but Recipes for Melissa? It is a must-read for every book lover out there. It will take you out of your comfort zone but show you how precious life, and your loved ones are. It will show you how quickly things can be taken from our grasp and, ultimately, it will reinforce the fact that we should never, ever take our lives for granted. We are, after all, delicate, fragile human beings and it is love that sees us through the times when we think we can no longer go on.

Becca's Books is awarding Recipes for Melissa by Teresa Driscoll with FIVE BEAUTIFUL CUPCAKES. A life-affirming, nostalgic, captivating tale of one mother and daughter, whose love for each other echoes throughout the years spent apart.


  1. This book sounds exactly like what I enjoy, I love a good weepy book! I will take the notice in hand that I need ice cream and tissues :)
    With such a rave review I had to try this one, already purchased for the kindle list!

    1. It's just teeming with emotion! I think you'll adore it, lovely! And yes, definitely keep the ice cream and tissues nearby ;) So thrilled you've decided to purchase, and do let me know what you think! Would love to know if you enjoy it as much as I did!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Becca xxx

  2. Brilliant review Becca. I've been looking at this book for a while but I think it would be such an emotional read. However, I love a foodie book so may just take the plunge with tea, tissues and chocolate xx

    1. Thank you for stopping by, lovely lady! It's definitely a 'foodie' book, some brilliant recipes included. I'd try them out but I'm hopeless in that department ;) Do let me know what you think once you've finished!

      Becca xxx

  3. Replies
    1. Aurwh, thank you fabulous Tracy! I love yours too! Thanks so much for stopping by xxxxx