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The Love Goddess’ Cooking School

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Holly arrives on Blue Crab Island after a devastating breakup. Two weeks later, her beloved grandmother passes away in her sleep. Now Holly is charged with keeping her grandmother’s cucinotta going, despite her marginal knowledge of the business. Was there ever a time in your life when you were as down on your luck as poor Holly? How did you make it through and what did you learn from the experience?

Holly might not have been the original “Love Goddess” her grandmother was, but she played matchmaker for two of her students, however inadvertently, and also managed to find love herself. Were you satisfied with the ending?

Holly returns to Blue Crab Island because of the special bond she shares with her grandmother and the safety and comfort the island represents. Where is that special place of comfort for you?

Melissa Senate’s writing, especially the descriptions of the food and its preparation, is so vivid. Did it inspire you to attempt a risotto or to enroll in a cooking class?

Why do you think Luciana did not share Holly’s enthusiasm and love for the island? How does reading Camilla’s diary give Holly a clearer picture of her mother’s early life? How does their relationship change over the course of the story?

Each of Holly’s four students is struggling with a personal hardship: Juliet, with the loss of her child; Simon, with his recent divorce; Tamara, with her family’s concern over her being single; and Mia, trying to rid her dad of his awful girlfriend. How does the cooking class help each of them? How can cooking be therapeutic? Do you think great cuisine can be considered an art form?

Romance was never easy for Holly: “She’d let her relationships take center stage of her heart, mind, and soul. Maybe because she’d never found her niche” (page 31). How did her attitude toward romance change after her breakup with John Reardon and her arrival in Maine?

She may not have the “knowing” like Camilla, but how does Holly reach out and help her students with their problems?

Camilla Constantina is known for her fortune-telling abilities, at least “for being right 70 percent of the time.” Would you ever want to possess a gift like this? Have you ever had your fortune told?

Were you surprised at the disappearance of the infamous white binder full of recipes? Do you agree with the way Holly handled the situation? How did it make her grow as a chef in her own right?

Liam’s ex-wife Veronica shows up unexpectedly and throws a wrench into his burgeoning romance with Holly. Do you think Liam handled the situation tactfully? What about Holly?

What did you think of Mia’s risky plan to make the sa cordula for her father, to disprove Camilla’s prophecy?

Lenora Windemere branded Camilla Constantina a witch, which made life in the small island community very difficult for a woman on her own. How does Holly face similar treatment when she first arrives?