Okay. I'm off my soapbox! You've got to feel bad for Sophie: it's her wedding day, she's spent $70,000 on her wedding, and her fiancee never shows to the wedding. He doesn't even send her a note. Instead, guests at Sophie's wedding see on social media that he has eloped to an island paradise with a thin, moneyed woman that is the opposite of Sophie. Crushed, but being brave, Sophie instead invites everyone to enjoy the food, the band, and the venue. Sophie throws herself into her party, and unfortunately, pictures flood social media, and she's humiliated. Sophie is a well-know pastry chef in Chicago, and her plans to open a restaurant with her ex-fiancee were big news, and her humiliation is complete.
Months later, Sophie has lost her job, sold her condo, and is living with her lively grandmother Bubbles. She's in debt up to her eyeballs, and burned a few bridges professionally with her bad attitude. Seeing a sign in the local neighborhood bakery, she starts working part-time, with an eye to getting back into the pastry world in Chicago. But life, of course, has a way of throwing curve balls, and Sophie is about to get a few tossed her way.
There is a lot of plot going on in this book. There is Sophie's relationship with Bubbles, her relationship with her parents, who have been together for 40 years of unwed bliss, her budding career at the local bakery (which is threatened by a new entry into the neighborhood), and there is the annoying son of the owner--Mark, who wonders why Sophie is even bothering to save the bakery. I found Sophie refreshing because she isn't a size 8, she enjoys food with no feelings of guilt, and instead of jumping into a big job and career change right away, she takes the time to sift through her feelings to decide where she wants to go next with her serious pastry skills. And most of all, I love the family dynamics between Sophie, Bubbles, and her parents. Chicago is a big part of this novel, and I always have a soft spot for the city in which my family made home for three generations.
There's much more going on in Sophie's life, and you'll get the title pretty quickly. I did feel there was almost too much going on in the plot and in Sophie's life. I was exhausted! And it seemed that the end was pretty quick, after many pages of Sophie's life moving a bit slowly. I would have liked an epilogue.
Thank you to Penguin-Random House for an advanced copy to review.
Rating: 7/10 for an enjoyable novel about restarting life, being resourceful, enjoying food and loving the people in our lives.
This book will be available May 3rd in paperback and e-book format.