From the acclaimed author of The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks and Must Love Books comes a heartfelt bookclub read following one woman’s journey to reconnect with her estranged Black family in the south, just as it’s on the brink of falling apart, perfect for fans of The Chicken Sisters and The Last Summer at the Golden Hotel.
One estranged family. One lost recipe. One last barbecue on the line. Mae is about to learn what happens when things go south…
Mae Townsend has always dreamed of connecting with her estranged Black family in the South. She grew up picturing relatives who looked like her, crowded dinner tables, bustling kitchens. And, of course, the Townsend family barbecue, the tradition that kept her late father flying to North Carolina year after year, despite the mysterious rift that always required her to stay behind.
But as Mae’s wedding draws closer, promising a future of always standing out among her white in-laws, suddenly not knowing the Townsends hits her like a blow. So when news arrives that her paternal grandmother has passed, she decides it’s time to head South.
What she finds is a family in turmoil, a long-standing grudge intact, a lost mac & cheese recipe causing grief, and a family barbecue on the brink of disaster. Not willing to let her dreams of family slip away, Mae steps up to throw a barbecue everyone will remember.
For better or for worse.
Praise for The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster
“I savored this heart-warming and delicious tale filled with family roots, twisty secrets, and mouth-watering food! Shauna Robinson taps into the longing we all share to find our people and our place in the world and gives us a soul-satisfying story that will linger long after the last page.”–Rachel Linden, author of Recipe for a Charmed Life
“Hilarious and heartwarming, this book is like a warm drink on a cold winter day. Shauna Robinson stunningly explores our perceptions of family and race, and if what divides us is more important than what brings us together. An indispensable read for anyone who has tried to figure out their place in spaces where they never quite fit, and a beautiful meditation on accepting yourself and accepting the people you love with your eyes and heart wide-open.” –Alex Travis, author of The Only Black Girl in the Room
“A heartwarming story about belonging, family secrets, the breaking of generational curses and forging of new bonds, Shauna Robinson’s The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster will have you reaching for the people you love and holding them close.”–Shirlene Obuobi, author of On Rotation
“The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster is infused with the warmth and humor that readers have come to expect from Robinson’s work. Shauna has always excelled at building worlds that readers want to spend time in, and writing characters they want to spend time with, and the Townsends are her best yet. This book is a moving delight, satisfying as a summer barbecue.” –Eva Jurczyk, internationally bestselling author of The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
“The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster is a heart-felt story of finding identity amidst complicated families and untold secrets. Robinson’s writing brought Mae’s journey to life, a perfect mix of deeply sad moments and laugh-out-loud inner monologue that kept me turning pages well into the night. True to real life, our histories–familial and racial–hold the best and worst of memories. This story doesn’t shy away from hard topics. Rather, it approaches them through a unique, sincere character who wins hearts from the start. More than just a feel-good read, The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster will leave readers cheering for Mae, hoping the best for humanity, and longing for a taste of Southern food! Kudos, Shauna!” –Michelle Stimpson, author of Sisters with a Side of Greens