Are you hungry? I’m really excited about this week’s pick for What I’m Reading Wednesday – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert. It’s been frequently described as “You’ve Got Mail” meets “How to Eat a Cupcake”, and I would have to agree.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is light, fun read about a restaurant owner brought down by a food critic’s untimely visit to her restaurant and subsequent scathing review. Set in Milwaukee, chef and restaurant owner Lou makes an awful discovery on her fiance’s birthday, resulting in a tumultuous night in the kitchen.
Al is a British food writer biding his time in Milwaukee by writing scathing reviews of restaurant meals. He has yet to write a good review, and his bitter, biting writing is a reflection of his overall impression of Milwaukee.
To say this is a take of “You’ve Got Mail” in a restaurant setting is apt – but Reichert does a great job of making it a new story. There is plenty of tension in this book, mostly in a good way that will have you rooting on book critic Al – which may surprise you as he is pretty curmudgeonly at the start of the story.
This book is full of mouth-watering food descriptions, great tension and conflict between the two main characters. Reichert has created a fun cast of supporting characters, and I fell in love with John, Al’s very mussed fashion editor-in-disguse friend from the newspaper, as well as Lou’s best friends and co-workers Harley, the tattooed pastry chef who looks grizzly but is more teddy bear, and Sue, her tough as nails sous chef.
Growing up in Illinois I’ve been to Milwaukee many a time, and Reichert’s descriptions do it justice (but if you decide to go visit after reading the book, definitely do it in summertime!) This book left me hungry for her next effort and with a taste for coconut cake in my mouth! (Thankfully, Chef Lou leaves the recipe for her grandmother’s infamous cake at the end of the book.)
Ultimately, this is a tale of love, responsibility, forgiveness – both of self and others – and second chances.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is published by Gallery Publishing and available in print and e-book on July 21, 2015 – you can pick up your very own copy on Amazon by clicking here.
An advanced reader copy was provided to me by NetGalley from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions found here are mine alone. This post contains affiliate links which, if used, help a teeny bit offset my web hosting expenses but won’t cost you anything. (So, thanks!)