Michelle is a mother of a sweet almost three year-old, and an author/blogger over at Two Exits Past Mommyland.
As a chick lit devotee, I quickly volunteered when Ashley asked me if I wanted to review Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo for Freckleberry Finds. What could be better than a funny story about a mom trying to have it all in the big city? I’m glad I signed up to check out this book – it was fantastic company on my train ride to work and fun to linger with over coffee. I highly recommend you pick it up and see for yourself!
The book tells the story of Julia Bailey, the struggling owner of a small food business that specializes in organic food for kids called “Julia’s Child”. She has a lovely husband, a somewhat scatterbrained au pair, and two young boys. Her business started out with money borrowed from the family nest egg but in spite of her best efforts is not making a profit. She and her second-in-command Marta cook by night (in a rented kitchen) and peddle their food to like-minded stores in the New York City area by day. Julia has seen only modest success until one day, Marta runs into the host of a popular talk show as she’s buying some Julia’s Child muffets (kind of like healthy muffin tops) at a local organic food store. After a brief introduction and conversation, Marta convinces her to put Julia’s Child on the air in a cooking segment. It helps the business, sort of – she generates interest at Whole Foods, the holy grail of organic food sellers – but they are overwhelmed and still running on a shoestring. She still isn’t turning a profit and in fact is at risk of losing the business. Things change, however, when she gets a booth at the NYC trade show for organic food and other earthy-crunchy wares. A big corporation stops by her booth is interested in getting involved in Julia’s Child! I would tell you what happens, but I don’t want to spoil the ending. You’ll have to read it to see how it all works out.
There are so many reasons why I liked this book. It comes with recipes so that the reader can make some of the delicious foods produced by Julia’s Child. My son and I tried the Apple and Cheddar muffets and they were easy and delicious. A perfect combo! Also, Julia’s struggles are familiar and real to a working mom like me. She has a really hard time devoting 100% to both her family and to her job and is spread really, really thinly. She manages her guilt and concern with grace and ultimately realizes what is most important, but it definitely isn’t easy for her. Pinneo created a really likeable character in Julia. After I got to know her, I was really pulling for her to succeed and to realize her dreams.
If you’re looking for a light read, put this one on your list. I promise you won’t be disappointed!