Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair are as different as night and day, yet they are connected to each other in ways only sisters can be. Annie grew up in the St. Clair household, the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper. Best friends from childhood, until events in high school drew them apart and led to a betrayal that ruined their friendship.
Ten years later Annie is a fabulous baker and her cupcakes are to die for. She finally gives in to Mrs. St. Clair’s many requests to bake cupcakes for one of her social events. There she runs into Julia, who still seems to have it all together yet holds a heartbreaking secret that has the potential to shatter everything she loves.
Julia falls in love with Annie’s cupcakes and proposes they go into business together. Initially hesitant, Annie finally agrees to let Julia help make her dream come true. Working together at the cupcakery, the once best friends slowly restore a bond they thought was gone forever.
Told in a split narrative, Meg Donohue’s debut novel explores the power of friendship and family, wrapped mouth-watering cupcakes.
Initially I didn’t like Julia at all, I thought she was the quintessential spoiled rich girl, right down to her snide thoughts. I really didn’t think she was going to be able to redeem herself, she was just a born snob. I was pleasantly surprised when halfway through, I started sympathizing with and really loving Julia. She’s complex, she’s a snob but she’s also just a woman trying to deal with her past and come to terms with the person she’s become. When she finally opens herself up and embraces the change, it’s honest and a little heart wrenching.
I loved Annie from the beginning, she’s strong and funny and she makes some pretty delicious cupcakes. Her past still haunts her and she is gripped with grief over losing her mother at such a young age and the events that came right before that.
The mystery in the book is pretty obvious as is Julia’s secret but it doesn’t take away any of my enjoyment. The book is about something bigger than those mysteries, it’s about best friends, about how things in high school can shape the person you become, about forgiveness and the power of a really excellent cupcake.
The book is filled with many wonderful supporting characters as well. Wes doesn’t get enough air time for my liking but he is a girl’s dream guy. Ogden (what a wacko name) is a quirky guy to say the least, but he will grow on you. And how can you not love someone named Lolly?
I loved this book and I think it is a good read for anyone that likes women’s fiction. This was Meg Donohue’s first novel and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her books in the future.