The life of an expat wife in a far-flung destination has all the classic ingredients for a jolly good chick-lit novel and who better to pen the story than someone who’s lived the life and turned it into an art form?
Sunshine Soup: Nourishing the Global Soul, is the first foray into fiction for renowned author, publisher and Expat Entrepreneur Jo Parfitt, and tells the story of a group of friends (and trailing spouses) living in Dubai in 2008.
Maya leaves behind a successful catering business to follow her husband’s career to the Middle East and quickly discovers that no amount of shopping and manicures can replace her life-long passion for cooking, and losing the professional identity she has worked so hard to achieve.
Even domestic salvation in the form of Annie the housemaid eats away at Maya’s self-esteem as she begins to feel usurped in the very place she has always found sanctuary and fulfilment her kitchen.
But before long Maya finds kindred spirits in other expat wives and soon discovers new and exciting opportunities in unexpected quarters in a storyline that trots along at a satisfying pace.
If you’re a fan of this genre then Sunshine Soup will certainly gratify, and typically with any of Jo Parfitt’s offerings, you get more than just a book and here she’s included twenty recipes at the end in a nice nod to the main character, Maya (the anchovy and lemon dip incidentally, is quite delicious!).
Sunshine Soup is a fictional account of the realities of life for many women living overseas, but ultimately it’s a tale of friendship, culture shock, grief and temptation against an exotic backdrop with a cast of characters who will resonate with expat women everywhere.