Jamie Oliver seems to put out a book every year and he (or his marketing team) has the knack of acting speedily to tap into the zeitgeist just so. That means while other writers are bringing us their lockdown home comforts, Jamie has moved on, already geeing us up to gather and have a good time. Together is about reconnecting over memorable meals, but made easy so the cook spends time with guests not melting down in the kitchen. Nothing new about that, and when it comes to the food the cynics among us might see the influence of the marketing department again, packaging up some fairly stock- standard recipes and cutely presenting the lifestyle of taco parties, harvest festivals and lazy lunches in the garden. But it’s bright, cheerful and packed with pics of the Olivers radiating determined joie de vivre, though the side orders of personal recipe notes, anecdotes and charming stories are scant giving the book a slight feel of a ‘tack-on-to-the TV-show’ obligation. Look a bit deeper and there are some worthwhile twists such as summer pudding spiked with cucumber, a higgledy piggledy lattice- topped pie, silken tofu in a white chocolate mousse or gorgeously twirled pears snuggled in an almond frangipane and ginger nut crust. Love him or not, Jamie certainly has the knack of making even the most curmudgeonly of us feel that we can banish the lockdown blues merely by wanting it so much and saying it is so. TRACY WHITMEY