Thursday 5 November 2020

Book Review: Lucky's by Andrew Pippos

Andrew Pippos 

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Imprint: Picador
Publication date: 27th October 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Family Saga 
Pages: 368
RRP: $32.99 AUD
Format read: Uncorrected paperback 
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book 
Lucky's is a story of family.

It is also about a man called Lucky.
His restaurant chain.
A fire that changed everything.
A New Yorker article which might save a career.
The mystery of a missing father.
An impostor who got the girl.
An unthinkable tragedy.
A roll of the dice.
And a story of love, lost, sought and won again, (at last).
My review
Lucky's is an ode to the old Greek cafe style restaurants with Andrew Pippos drawing inspiration from his own upbringing.
Jumping back and forward in time Pippos shows us a post war Sydney when many migrants came to Australia to start a new life, opening cafes and expecting their children to work in the cafe.  Here the story follows Achilles Asproyerakas who played an important role in Lucky's restaurants as his cafe Achillion was the prototype for the Lucky's chain.
Then in 2002 we meet Emily on the cusp of a trip from England to Sydney, Australia, to boost her career in journalism, her husband tells her he is in love with another woman. Emily is drawn to Lucky by a painting her father gave her of a Lucky's franchise cafe. Emily hopes to write a career saving story on the Lucky's franchise rise and demise.
Emily and Lucky have many parallels in their lives. Tragedy has had a major involvement in both their lives. Lucky's name was ironic, and this wasn't lost on him, as tragedy after tragedy befell him. His character was well drawn and it was easy to connect and sympathise with him. I eagerly followed Emily's and Lucky's stories looking forward to Emily's big scoop and the outcome of Lucky's appearance on Wheel of Fortune with the hope of opening a new cafe. However the story fell short with too many time changes. Would it have been more engaging if it was in chronological order? I'm not sure.
Lucky's is a tragic tale, tragicomedy without the laughs. If they were there I missed them.
Pippos' writing is exceptional; nostalgic, tragic and palpable. 
3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
About the author

Andrew Pippos spent part of his childhood getting underfoot in his family's Greek-Australian café. When he grew up, he worked in newspapers and taught in universities. This is his first novel, and it packs in everything he knows about growing up in a noisy, complicated, loving family. He lives in Sydney. 
Challenges entered: Aussie author challenge  #AussieAuthor20

1 comment:

  1. I found a few chuckles - mostly in the Quixote-esque scrapes Lucky found himself in - but you're right, there weren't many 😅 Still, a wonderful read!