Supper Club by Lara Williams
Some novels win you over with their cover, others come highly recommended by critics and friends, but Supper Club sold me on the premise alone. A secret society of women meet up to feast on insane amounts of food, do drugs and practice being unapologetic about their changing bodies? For women, most pleasures are tied up in guilt and shame, so I devoured this book like it was the feast itself.
It follows Roberta, a deeply lonely and anxious young woman, through both her university days and her late twenties. Both ashamed of eating and in love with cooking, traumatised by male violence but desperate to be loved, the book deals with the push-and-pull between a contemporary woman’s fears and desires.
The experience of reading Supper Club is cathartic more than aspirational. You cheer on these women in their ‘fuck you’ to the world, but Williams doesn’t let you forget the danger of co-dependency, the questionable motives of self-proclaimed activists and the isolation that comes from making your home on the fringes of society. I have recommended this novel to countless women and here I am doing it again.