Title: How to Eat a Cupcake
Author: Meg Donohue
Publication date: March 13rd 2012
Pages: 320 (paperback)
Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.
A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship.
Witty, funny, heart-wrenching and engaging at the same time, How to Eat a Cupcake is the perfect read for a rainy day and a quiet night in. I can honestly say it has been one of the best chick-lit books I’ve read this year, without a doubt. It made me smile, it made me bawl my eyes out, but most importantly, it was simply unputdownable.
The plot is just pure brilliance. It focuses on Annie and Julia, two childhood friends who fall out after a series of events and don’t see each other for over a decade. When they finally meet, Annie finds herself in an interesting position: does she go with her original plan and tries to put a painful past behind her or does she forgive the one who made her life so miserable a decade ago in order to make her lifelong dream come true?
The characters are are very likeable – I loved Annie’s sarcasm and wit and at the same time, I felt sorry for Julia. She’s a typical only child who grew up in a wealthy family. She has had everything she wanted all her life, she lives in a huge mansion, surrounded by only the best of everything. But still, her life is far from perfect. She leads an artificial life and puts on a mask every day, an immaculate smile and pretends she’s fine. But she’s clearly not. And as it turns out, despite the fact that she has all the money in the world, her secrets are getting the best of her and she’s on the verge of falling apart.
I loved the fact that the two girls take turns in narrating the story. It’s interesting to hear the story from two completely different perspectives. Because let’s admit it, the two of them couldn’t be any more different. Annie and Julia are an ill-matched pair of friends who have a great bond and who are -deep down- more similar than they think they are. Which makes How to Eat a Cupcake even more excellent.
Donohue adds a little bit of mystery to the story as well which, being a huge Agatha Christie fan, I really appreciated. There is a Mystery Man in the story who wants to sabotage their whole plan and wants to see the cupcakery fail – but does he succeed? I had a feeling who this man might be (having read at least 30 murder mysteries, I’m seriously thinking about becoming the next Miss Marple, haha) and I was right!
How to Eat a Cupcake has all the ingredients of a marvellous book and I can guarantee you’ll love this one. Donohue’s masterpiece definitely makes you want to curl up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and some cupcakes – but don’t start reading it on an empty stomach!