Tuesday July 13, 2004

Eat Cake

Ruth Hopson is the star and first-person narrator of Eat Cake, a novel by Jeanne Ray. Ever since she was five years old, Ruth has had a special relationship with cake. At this point in her life, with husband, teenage daughter, and mother all living in the house (her 20-year-old son is off at college), Ruth bakes a cake whenever the stresses of life begin to get to her. When life gets difficult, Ruth loses herself in cake.

The family already thinks Ruth bakes too many cakes. But it's when husband Sam loses his job and Ruth's estranged father comes to live with them the next day (to recuperate from two newly broken wrists) that Ruth really begins to bake a lot of cakes.

As Ruth's Mother and Father (estranged for nearly fifty years) battle in the kitchen, Sam begins to talk of "building and sailing boats" (instead of looking for a new job), and daughter Camille responds like a typical teenager, Ruth finds herself under more stress (and baking more cakes).

Can cake save this family? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Eat Cake is funny and well written, the characters well drawn, the dialog crisp and snappy. I could practically taste the cakes. The only objections I had were that the penultimate chapter didn't quite seem (to me) to fit well into the rest of the book... and I thought the book ended rather abruptly, with an "epilogue" to bring everything to closure.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Eat Cake. Recipes for most of the cakes in the story are included in the back of the book (although, to my dismay, the lemon poppyseed wasn't included!)

Whether you like to bake or just like to eat cake, if you enjoy an interesting story to "sink your teeth into", you should read this book.

Eat Cake ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Tue, 13 Jul, 00:10 Pacific | «e»