Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love

Molly Hagan is a struggling, forty-year-old single mother who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She suffers the sting of a husband who left her for a younger woman; a traumatized six-year old son who asks too many questions and is begging for an exotic pet; a mother who's financial future has gone belly-up and now has nowhere to live; and well-meaning friends and a shrink who pressure Molly to make changes in her life. Molly's troubles grow even deeper when she learns that she's penniless and can't even pay the rent.

When an old friend offers Molly a copyrighting job for a new bakery, Molly jumps at the chance for employment. The venue is located near the New York Public Library and the owner wants to make the bakery "a destination point, just like the library." Inspired by the challenge, Molly comes up with a "literary-food-is-delicious" schematic for what she envisions will become, "Vanity Fare." In the midst of pulling together her presentation, Molly suddenly finds herself being wooed by a sexy British pastry chef with an "upper-crust, devil-may-care Hugh Grant accent" and his aloof business partner, who becomes more attractive as he forms a bond with Molly's son.

Each chapter commences with blurbs that cleverly pair a syrupy literary reference/pun with a bakery offering such as "Much Ado about Muffins," "A Room of One's Scone" and "Catcher in the Rye Bread." Author Megan Caldwell has whipped up a delicious, well-plotted romance where her smart, self-deprecating heroine conquers real-world issues with good humor.
William Morrow, $14.99, Trade paper, 9780062188366,  416 pp
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (1/9/13), click HERE.