I have encountered the author in her writings for various blogs, and saw a 'blurb' for The all You Can Dream Buffet. It sounded interesting, complex, colorful and, based on my read of the author herself, thoughtful. I bought a copy.
The characters are all food bloggers. One, a vegan, is recovering from a sudden, senseless rejection by the man who made her pregnant. Another, tied to a life as a cake baker for a small town supermarket, has found that her cake blog, illustrated by her own photographs, has brought her friends and a taste of freedom. Another woman and her daughter are recovering from a tragedy (and it is a mark of O'Neal's skill that none of these characters' backgrounds are delivered in an info-dump). And the catalyst for this story, Lavender Wills, is a woman with a kaleidoscope of a background who now runs a lavender farm, among other things and, with her life coming to a close, is seeking a successor.
This is a story of journeys, of healing, a story that investigates the problem of pain and deals gently with broken lives and hearts. Romance is there, smiles, and some scowls. This story has some magical touches, characters that seem to spark the imagination. And a number of them who seem very familiar.
I enjoyed this book. Now I have to decide which of Ms. O'Neal's I will read next.