When I eat cupcakes, I like to peel back the paper liner, take one big bite right out of the middle as if it were an apple, and then nibble my way around the rest of the cake, frosting first. Any little bit of cake I have left I simply pop into my mouth in one bite.
Reading Meg Donohue’s novel How To Eat A Cupcake inspired that little reflection -as well as making me hungry for cupcakes the entire time I was reading it. This sparkling little novel is the story of two young women who renew their childhood friendship while building a successful cupcakery together.
Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair are from entirely different worlds, although they grew up almost in the same San Francisco mansion. Annie’s mother was the housekeeper for the elegant St. Clair’s, but she and her daughter became practically members of the family. The girls were close as sisters until an incident during their high school years caused a huge rift that destroyed their friendship. When the novel opens, ten years have passed, Annie’s mother has died, and Julia is engaged to be married. A chance reunion allows the duo to open the lines of communication and they decide to bury the hatchet and start a business together.
Here the novel takes a slightly darker turn, as a mysterious saboteur targets the cupcakery, and it becomes obvious that Julia is hiding a dark secret which is affecting her emotionally. Annie discovers some things she didn’t know about her mother and the mysterious stranger who has been haunting her movements.
All the ingredients finally come together in a smooth concoction, and the story has a neat, if somewhat predictable happy ending.
I enjoyed this novel, it was a fast read with interesting characters. Even though I probably identify more with the mother in the story, it was fun to tag along on Annie and Julia’s excellent adventure.
Recommended reading for a sunny afternoon outside, with cupcakes at hand.
Author Meg Donohue’s running a pre-order campaign where she’ll email a Meyer lemon cupcake recipe developed exclusively for How to Eat a Cupcake readers by the pastry chef at San Francisco’s acclaimed Bar Bambino to anyone who pre-orders the book. Details are at her blog.
Meg will be joining Book Club Girl on Air on Tuesday, April 24 at 7pm ET.
Thanks to TLC Tours for the opportunity to read this book.
For a chance to win a copy of How To Eat A Cupcake, leave a comment below and tell me how YOU eat your cupcakes :)