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Fiction Coming Of Age

Recipe for a Good Life (indigo exclusive edition)

by (author) Lesley Crewe

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Jul 2023
Coming of Age, City Life, Family Life, Historical
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price

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The Indigo Exclusive edition of Globe and Mail — bestselling Lesley Crewe's new novel features a Q&A with the author and a letter from Crewe to her readers!

On paper, Kitty's life is perfect. She lives in Montreal, so vibrant in the 1950s; she married her childhood sweetheart, who happens to also be a handsome movie star; and her detective novels, written under a plausibly male nom de plume, are bestsellers. But Kitty is suffocating under the truth of her life: Montreal feels chaotic and lonely without her mother, and with her father all but estranged. Her husband is a glib Lothario. And she never, ever wants to write another detective novel. When she says as much to her publishers, they panic. She's their golden goose. And so they convince her to go on a writing retreat to a beautiful remote island, Cape Breton, where with solitude and a luxurious change of scenery, she?ll be able to whip up her next book. At least, that was the plan.

Kitty arrives in Cape Breton to a leaky, drafty shack and a cast of characters unlike anyone she's ever met. There's Ethel, who listens in on everyone's party line calls and never keeps good gossip to herself; generous Bertha and her enormous family...and Bertha's son, Wallace — Walrus, to all his nieces and nephews. A gentle giant who always has half a dozen children hanging off him. Soon Kitty's writing retreat turns her life upside down, and she has to face which parts of her life are non-negotiable and which she must cut loose. Can she preserve what she loves in Montreal now that Cape Breton is calling? If she frees herself from the weight of her past, will she float away altogether?

From Globe and Mail – bestselling author Lesley Crewe comes a story of loneliness and belonging, and a love letter to the women who have always kept the kettles warm and the neighbours fed in rural Cape Breton.

About the author

Lesley Crewe is the Globe and Mail – bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Nosy Parker, which was named one of Indigo's Top 100 Books of 2022, The Spoon Stealer, longlisted for Canada Reads 2022, Beholden, Mary, Mary, Amazing Grace, Kin, and Relative Happiness, which was adapted into an award-winning feature film. She has also published two collections of essays, the Leacock — longlisted Are You Kidding Me?! and I Kid You Not! Lesley lives in Homeville, Nova Scotia. Visit her at

Lesley Crewe's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Reading Recipe For a Good Life was like being on the receiving end of an enormous hug just when you need it most. Bursting at the seams with heart and humour, this book is a most glorious love letter to the amazing women of rural Cape Breton. I now want to get a time machine and move to South Head Road!"
Bianca Marais, bestselling author of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

"Lesley Crewe has done it again! Recipe for a Good Life absolutely delivers, with vivid characters, and plenty of moments both hilarious and touching. Lesley's writing with lots of love, here, and it shows."
Stephanie Domet, Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women, Fallsy Downsies

"Fans of the delightful Lesley Crewe know that she can skillfully make you weep or laugh at the drop of a noun. In her latest novel, Recipe for a Good Life, she weaves loneliness like silk into the soul of a person with a stitch of humour. This clever author knows that the heart can teach you more than you will ever teach it."
Beatrice MacNeil, bestselling author of Where White Horses Gallop

"I fell arse over tea kettle in love with the characters in this book, and now find myself missing them on a daily basis. That's the sign of a good story!"
Nancy Regan, bestselling author of From Showing Off to Showing UP

"Recipe for a Good Life is Notting Hill meets Cape Breton — if Julia Roberts was a bestselling author and Hugh Grant a clandestine baker instead of a bookseller. Kitty steps out of her cosmopolitan life in Mad Menera-Montreal to the world of South Head, Cape Breton, where telephones are still using the Party Line (catnip for the local gossip). It's a life-changing writing retreat for a woman stagnating in her work and marriage. With Crewe's signature wit and a cast of cheeky characters, lolloping dogs and heaps of food, this is a warm hug of a book. You'll wish you could go for a stroll along the beach with Walrus and the dogs or bum a cigarette from Gaynor over a literary lunch."
&$8212; Nicola Davison, award-winning author of In the Wake and Decoding Dot Grey

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