The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert
April 20th 2021, by Berkley
Reviewed by Kate
Are you looking for a book to take on vacation once we’re all vaccinated and you can leave your house again? If yes, I definitely recommend The Kindred Spirits Supper Club as a prime candidate for cute, lighthearted summer read.
Being from Wisconsin, I generally can’t pass up a book set there, and having previously read Reichert’s The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, which was like a love story to Milwaukee, I was excited to read this newest novel of hers. And the Wisconsin flavor was certainly here in this one as well, especially in the food – beer battered cheese curds, Brandy old fashioneds, brats, and Spotted Cow beer all make appearances. Multiple characters bring up Wisconsin trivia facts (something that feels so relatable) and the opening scene takes place at a waterpark.
Though there is a happily ever after at the end of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club, it reads more like women’s fiction than romance. Sabrina struggles with a lot during the book – she lost her job, had to move back in with her parents and is dealing with her sometimes crippling anxiety, and I feel her arc of discovery is just as important as the romance arc. There are other stories interwoven as well, including the ghosts’ stories (the women in Sabrina’s families help ghosts move on by completing their last wish) and this gives the book some flavor but I feel that it is somewhat surface level. For example, though this story does deal with death in some capacity, as there are literal ghosts, I never felt like it was overpowering or too intense.
I am typically not one who can predict where a book is going, but I could tell where the ghost story was going to end up when I was 37% in. It felt like a secondary romance arc, and is really a sweet addition, even if it is predictable. As for romance between Sabrina and Ray, we have the “fake dating” trope, and a very slow burn. The one sex scene is somewhat fade to black. But Ray is an adorable, slightly awkward sweetheart who just wants to love Sabrina and that warmed my heart.
Even with Sabrina trying to make relatively big life decisions over the course of the book, and struggles with anxiety, there isn’t much angst in this book. It didn’t stress me out while I was reading it. And at the end of the day, that’s likely why I enjoyed The Kindred Spirits Supper Club – it’s a perfect book to escape in for a few hours. Just make sure not to go in too hungry!
Content warnings: Sabrina has anxiety and has a panic attack, one character is implied to have had dementia before he died and struggles communicating as a ghost, one scene where Sabrina is unwillingly kissed by an ex-boyfriend, Sabrina has a few flashbacks to being bullied as a child because of her ability to see ghosts