I'd been wanting to read Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell since late last year. At first I was drawn to the gorgeous cover (love it!!) but the the synopsis clinched it. I finally got the chance to read the novel a little while ago and, happily, I really enjoyed it.
Here's the synopsis:
A charming novel about a 40-year-old Brooklyn mother, recently divorced, who starts writing copy for a bakery, discovers a knack for food-related literary puns, and becomes entangled in a love triangle.I read this one as part of the Dewey Readathon at the end of April and it was my last read of the 24 hours. If it hadn't already been past midnight I would have read this one in one sitting - I was that into it. I loved the premise of a bakery with a literary twist. Does anyone know if one exists? Because I need to visit it. Caldwell wrote about the bakery and the designs for it in such detail that I really felt like I could see the finished product.
Molly Hagan is overwhelmed.
Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos-not to mention food and clothing-she has to get a job. Fast.
So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who's heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef's intimidating business partner-who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.
Sometimes I have trouble really relating to characters who are mothers and/or are divorced since I'm not at that point in my life. A really engaging story will make me forget about that and Caldwell's novel was definitely engaging. Molly was an awesome character and I found myself wanting to be her friend. She was so real (read: just enough flaws to make her believable) and funny. She adored her son (who was probably one of the cutest kids found in women's fiction) and was determined to make the divorce process as easy and smooth as possible for him.
Another great thing about Molly was that she wasn't giving up on love. Granted, she didn't go after love in the right place to start out with but these things have a way of working out. Funny how novels work, isn't it? :) The romance in this story was really great to read about. I liked that I was kept on my toes in regards to Nick's feelings for Molly. Did he like her or not? Oh, and when he was hanging out with her son? So sweet. I loved how things all worked out in the end - sort of like a modern fairy tale.
Vanity Fare was a great read and I am so glad I got the chance to read it. I will definitely be on the lookout for more novels by Megan Caldwell. If you're looking for a light read with heart, I can't recommend this one enough. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on my top ten list at the end of the year!
Buy on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters Indigo, Kobo
*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher, HarperCollins Canada, in exchange for an honest review.*