Free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clairs’ housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.
A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia’s engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.
About The Author:
Meg Donohue has an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughters, dog, and a weakness for salted caramel cupcakes.
One of my favorite things about being a review blogger is having the chance to “meet” new authors and read their debut works. This is one such author. Not only did I fall in love with the cover ( I mean, seriously? Cupcakes on the cover? Oh yea. I’m hooked and drooling…..), but the premise of the book sounded absolutely awesome. And, I wasn’t disappointed! Meg Donohue took complexity, humor and friendship, tossed in a few doses of super sweet sugar, and voila! A wonderful debut novel, and the start of a wonderful novel career for Ms. Donohue!
Did you ever have the one best friend that you grew up with, only to go your separate ways after a tragic situation? I can honestly say, no, that’s not happened to me. But, it happened to Annie and Julia, and I felt a big part of their bond. Julia St. Clair, rich, sophisticated and spoiled-and green with envy over Annie. Annie Quintana, not so rich, daughter of the St. Clair housekeeper-cook, and ultimately, Julia’s best friend.
Meg Donohue takes Annie and Julia’s childhood life and their present life, and portrays it vividly for the reader. Taking a step back a several years, the reader gets to see life through Annie and Julia’s eyes, as they each tell the reader of their life, leading up to the present day. After moving on with her life after a terrible tragedy that alienates her from her friend, Annie is no longer that young housekeeper’s daughter, but rather, she’s now a baker working for Julia’s mother, catering for a St. Clair party. Back to square one, in terms. Julia is a well to do business woman, moving back home to prepare for her upcoming wedding.
Told between the two characters you can see where they both have similar hopes and dreams. When Julia suggests to Annie of opening up a Cupcake Bakery together, Annie is reluctant. Thinking long and hard, it’s a battle of forgiveness and moving on, or staying in the past and heartache. Choosing the former, Annie accepts Julia’s offer and together, these two ex-best friends, become reunited and form a new, exciting bond.
Reading Annie and Julia’s story, I could just state the concoctions of gooey goodness. Like the sticky treats, Annie and Julia are unique and molded differently, yet the same. A wonderful 5 Book worthy story of hope, friendship, second chances and family, this book is an amazing debut. I am anxiously looking forward to reading another novel as yummy and moving as this sweet novel.