Kirchner, Bharti. Pastries: a Novel of Desserts and Discoveries.
Reason read: December is traditionally when a whole lot of baking goes on.
Meet Sunya. She owns a small bakery in Seattle, Washington where the star attraction is her one-of-a-kind decadent chocolate creation, Sunya Cake. Only these days head baker Sunya has lost her mojo for any kind of sweet creation. Every recipe she attempts ends in distraction and disaster. For a baker not being able to bake, that must be like a writer suffering from writer’s block. However, Sunya has more to worry about than her own failing skills. She is on the rebound from a bad break-up (the lowest of lows: a friend stole her man); her business is about to go head-to-head with a bigger, glitzier bakery (think of a chain similar to Cheesecake Factory), there is a nasty critic stoking the fires of competition, Sunya’s employees are unreliable and fickle; her shop’s lease looks like it won’t be renewed due to financial instability. To top it all off as if that wasn’t enough, Sunya suffers from latent abandonment issues and an ever-growing identity crisis. The mystery of her father’s sudden departure from the family haunts Sunya despite the fact she was only two days old at the time. Even though she is of Indian descent, Sunya best identifies with Japanese culture, but who is she really underneath it all?
Through all this, Sunya’s character is honest and believable. She isn’t above ratting out her competition to the food inspector (pun totally intended). She harbors enormous jealousy for the woman who stole her boyfriend (as mentioned before, someone she used to call her friend). She definitely has relationship issues thanks to the mystery of her father leaving her. Even sexy movie director Andrew has trouble convincing Sunya he is interested in more than just her chocolate cake.
Author fact: Kirchner also wrote The Bold Vegetarian: 150 Inspired International Recipes which was on my Challenge list even though I didn’t need to read it.
Book trivia: this should be a movie.
Playlist: Bach, Brahms, Pearl Jam, and Andres Segovia.
Nancy said: Pearl didn’t say anything specific about Pastries.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Fiction for Foodies” (p 88). See why The Bold Vegetarian shouldn’t have been on my Challenge list?