In Dining With Joy, we meet Joy Ballard, the host of a regional cooking show, who has a secret-she can't cook. She took over her father's cooking show when he died, but she cannot cook herself. Her behind-the-scenes staff have helped her keep her secret, until she is challenged to a "throwdown" of sorts, with another cooking show host. There, though her colleague and cohost Luke does his best to help, she is exposed. Then she and Luke have to go about rebuilding both his reputation as a chef and their lives. Once all their lives are in shambles, both Luke and Joy come to realize that maybe what happened, including Joy being exposed as a fraud, was a part of God's plan for their lives. They find that God really does bring beauty from ashes.
I really enjoyed this book. It offers a vivid painting of what life and the people that inhabit South Carolina's Lowcountry really are all about. It also discusses their cuisine in detail, even including a few recipes at the end of the book! What this book really teaches is that we may plan for our life to be one way, but through our families or other uncontrollable things we end up in a totally different place. Even though that may happen, this story gives the reader hope that God can truly not only bring us to a place where we are truly satisfied with our work, but also bring us the perfect person or people to share your life with. This story is also a vivid reminder that though things seem to be at their worst, everything can turn around in just a short time and be at their best.