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The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel

4.6 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lavender Willis is about to turn 85 when she decides to pick the right person to inherit her organic farm in O’Neal’s charming and genuine portrayal of choices made for better or worse. With the secret intention of bequeathing to one of them her beloved farm and its organic legacy, foodie blogger Lavender invites to her Lavender Honey Farms in Oregon her three closest online friends, Kansas cake blogger Ginny, who has always lived her life for others and is quietly desperate to make a drastic change for true happiness; Ruby, who is young, pregnant, heartbroken, and passionate about grassroots living and eating; and Val, a wine blogger who arrives with her teenage daughter in tow, both of them still grappling with the aftereffects of tragedy. Peppered with realistic details about organic farming, blogging, the Oregon landscape, and the very relatable sorrows and joys of being human, this is a sweetly engrossing read with which to curl up. Recipes scattered throughout the book add appeal. Recommend to fans of Kristin Hannah. --Julie Trevelyan --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

“Charming and genuine . . . Peppered with realistic details about organic farming, blogging, the Oregon landscape, and the very relatable sorrows and joys of being human, this is a sweetly engrossing read with which to curl up.”Booklist
 
“[A] feel-good story . . . [The All You Can Dream Buffet] rings all the right bells.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“A top-notch romance . . . [A] satisfying read is in store for all who pick up this book for a fun time and a foodie fling.”BookPage
 
“Highly relatable characters will draw readers in immediately. The ‘foodie’ background of the story is also fun and contains recipes and photos as well from the characters’ blogs.”The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
 
“O’Neal’s latest is a sweet tale of friendship and love. . . . The heartwarming novel will touch the soul and resonate long afterward.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Delicious . . . These thoroughly entertain with moving plotlines and rich character development. . . . I can’t recommend this beautifully written novel enough. It has a deep base of warmth, a cupful of humor, a generous dollop of romance, and a gentle dash of the other worldly. And I’ve found a new-to-me author to savor!”Romance Reviews Today
 
The All You Can Dream Buffet is a charming tale of food, friendship, endings and new beginnings, and freedom from all that stops one from being true to oneself. If you’re in need of the comfort read, this is the one.”BookLoons
 
“I don’t know how Barbara O’Neal does it but each book she writes is truly amazing—offering complex stories of women’s lives with her rich use of language. The All You Can Dream Buffet is no exception. . . . It’s a delightful book that made me laugh just as much as it made me cry.”Examiner.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480511803
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480511804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,710,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Laurel-Rain Snow VINE VOICE on February 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lavender Wills, owner of Lavender Honey Farms in Oregon, and one of the Foodie Four bloggers, is having a party to celebrate her 85th birthday.

After she sends out her invitations, we meet the individual bloggers as they converge on the farm.

Ruby, young and pregnant, comes from SF, and writes A Flavor of a Blue Moon. Her lover Liam has left her, and she seeks healing and a fresh start.

Ginger, A Cake of Dreams, lives in Kansas and has never been anywhere. She longs to explore and have adventures. She buys an Airstream trailer and starts out, over the objections of her staid and cold husband Matthew.

Valerie, from Wine Dancer, heads out on the journey with her daughter Hannah. The two of them have lost the rest of their family, and are still suffering.

As we follow the foodies in their approach to the Oregon destination, we are privy to some blog posts from the road, with photos, and we can enjoy their e-mails to each other. I loved feeling a part of their adventures, almost tasting the delicious food and seeing the sights along the way. Especially Ginny's view of the world, since she had been trapped in Dead Gulch, Kansas, her whole life. Now she is experiencing the mountains of colorful Colorado, and as she descends on the Willamette Valley, we can see the lavender fields spread out before her.

The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel is a lovely story that will reveal more about how their blogging and their connections to one another can have wonderful healing powers.

Each woman is a at turning point in her life. Lavender faces a big decision about her beloved farm.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high expectations for enjoying Barbara O'Neal's newest release. I've read several of her previous books and they have a home on the shelves with my cookbooks to keep those delicious recipes close at hand. In addition, I live in an Oregon county adjacent to the Yamhill County setting for much of this book.

I didn't have a specific dislike about The All You Can Dream Buffet, I just didn't click with it. Food and recipes have figured prominently in O'Neal's previous books, and while a few recipes are included in Dream Buffet, blog entries and emails seemed to take center stage in this one. For all of the drama that the characters brought to the table (pun in intended) for one character's 85th birthday bash, I didn't feel the same level of intimacy among these characters as I've felt with other characters in O'Neal's other books. I also felt that too many rather intriguing loose ends were unresolved for my satisfaction. While I appreciate O'Neal's effort for trying something new with her storyline, this one didn't work for me.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've not read anything by Barbara O'Neil before but after thoroughly enjoying this novel, will definitely look her up at the local library.

This story centers around the "Foodie Four", a group of woman bloggers. The main characters are: Lavender (who owns an organic farm); Ruby (who is almost 5 months pregnant and single); Ginny (who left Kansas and doesn't ever want to go back to her marriage) and Val (and daughter, Hannah, who is running away from the grief of being a widow and mother who lost two daughters in a plane crash).

Lavender is up in her 80s and is a spright and youthful elderly woman; Ruby seems a bit scatter-brained, yet she is definitely in love with her baby; Ginny is afraid to go across country and yet knows that she has to get away; Val needs to help herself and her daughter, Hannah, survive.

It's a loving and touching novel; I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautiful blend of characters. . .young, old, and in between. I looked forward to this book's release for months and read it in just days. Each character's story touched me and the overall story was well done.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read and enjoyed Barbara O'Neal's books in the past and was excited to see The All You Can Dream Buffet was being published. Lavender is one of four food bloggers and is planning a celebration for her 85th birthday where she will finally meet women that she has only met online. Ruby, Ginger and Valerie travel to this celebration, each with their own problems. Blog posts, emails and pictures are shared along the way. Although I liked the premise of this book and the friendship it centered around, I found it hard to really feel connected to any of the characters. I started this novel several times before I really felt compelled to keep reading, and was a bit disappointed in this latest book by O'Neal.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lavender is a spunky octogenarian who owns an organic farm. She also is part of a bloggers who call themselves “The Foodie Four”. These four women are the main characters in this hard-to-put-down book.

Lavender invites the other three bloggers to her farm to celebrate her birthday. Ginny, Ruby and Val are introduced as they prepare for the trip in their individual Airstream trailers. Blog posts are part of the story and make me feel like I was the fifth “foodie” of the group. The first half of the book is centered on The Foodies getting to Lavender’s farm. The second half is all about how they interact. I savored every word of this book!

I read for an hour in the morning before starting the day and was transported to Lavender’s farm every time.

Ginny had been a shy grocery store cake decorator before her first blog post. Now she has ventured from home and family, on her own for the first time. She is experiencing life like never before.

Ruby is young, single, vegan and pregnant. She is trying to get over the pain of an ended romance.

Val was once a well-known ballerina and is traveling with her teenage daughter. They are still in pain from a terrible family tragedy several years earlier.

There are aspects of all of the women that I could relate to, making every chapter more interesting. They all grow and learn from each other. The last chapters were very satisfying, leading me to believe that life will continue to be interesting and fulfilling.

There are a few supporting characters who add the right touch of seasoning to this tale – one that I highly recommend!
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