Book Buzz: Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal 

It seems natural that Ned and Mariel would end up together. After all, they were both raised in the Midwest by families with deep ties to the restaurant community. But the similarities end there. While Ned’s family helms the chain restaurant empire Jorby’s, Mariel grew up in Floyd and Betty’s Lakeside Supper Club on Bear Jaw Lake, where the prime rib platters are staggering and Betty’s signature “lemonade” is always flowing. Though Ned wants to build his future in the family business, Mariel’s heart is forever bound to the Lakeside, a bond that only deepens when the couple’s life is marred by unimaginable tragedy. Intertwining Mariel’s story with that of her mother and grandmother, Stradal pays homage to the culture and character of his setting without shying away from difficult topics. Every bit as warm and relatable as his previous books (Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota), this new novel is a perfect choice for readers who love stories of food, family, and connection. 

Reviewed by Mary Kinser, collection development librarian, Whatcom County Library System

(Originally published in Bellingham Alive August 2023 issue.)