And it is women’s unassuaged appetites — for food as well as sex — that is the main theme of Lara Williams’s debut novel. Twenty-nine-year-old Roberta has a dull job working at a fashion website, where she meets and befriends bisexual Stevie. They immediately hit it off and decide to start a supper club for themselves and other “hungry” women, who have been disappointed by men.
Naturally, every publisher is now in search of ‘the new Sally Rooney’ —though Rooney, who’s still in her 20s, is hardly past her sell-by date. But, while her influence on this debut is obvious, Lara Williams is very much a talent in her own right.... The real meat is Williams’s smart, zeitgeisty, but genuinely affecting, coming-of-age tale.