Friday, March 16, 2012

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

Julia St. Clair and Annie Quintana used to be close - very close. They practically lived in the same house, sharing the same treats, going to the same school. But really, they came from two different worlds. Julia belongs in the upper echelons of society. She is beautiful and smart and the beloved only daughter of the wealth St. Clair family. Annie is sassy and funny and is the daughter of the housekeeper. It is hard to imagine a world where the two girls wouldn't be friends for life but, in a devastating betrayal, a bond and a friendship, is destroyed.

Fast forward ten years and we find that Julia is everything that she was expected to be. Engaged to a wonderful man, living the high life, successful in business and in life, she has just moved back home to San Francisco to plan her society wedding. Annie is also successful in her own way - she is a super talented pastry chef and dog walker. If she is not running her own dream business, she is at least working for her dream boss.

When Annie is contacted by Julia's mother, Lolly, asking her make some cupcakes Annie knows that it is a mistake to come back to the house that holds so many painful memories for her, especially relating to her mother's death, but she does it anyway. Her main reason for doing so - the chance to find her mother's recipe book that has been missing since the day she died. Annie's cupcakes are a hit, and Julia decides that between the two of them they could open a fabulous cupcakery. With her business acumen and Annie's talent what could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out... lots. With a fractured relationship, secrets, old jealousies and not to mention an old beau who keeps on getting in the way there is plenty of emotional baggage to get through. Scarier though is the fact that there is someone who really doesn't want the cupcakery to succeed, and the question is, just how far are they prepared to go.

This book should come with a warning on the front - this book will make you want to eat a cupcake .... or three. The way that the cupcakes and the baking process were described made me crave them. I did manage to convince my work mates that we had to go and get some too! The only thing I wished is that we had some more exotic flavours to try at the shop that is near us.

I also liked that the book was set in San Francisco which is a place that I loved when I visited there many years ago.

For the most part I enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a book that you can read in a couple of sittings and make you crave something sweet then this is a good possibility. For me though, the book has one of those sweet after tastes that has you wanting to rinse your mouth out afterwards and I can't quite put my finger on why. The author touches on important issues about friendship and more, there were surprises and twists, some of which were more unexpected than others when the moment of the big reveal came round. It was an easy read, a fun read that once I started reading I sped through, but I wouldn't go any further than that. To use a cupcake analogy - it looks pretty and tastes good but you wouldn't want to be relying on it for your every day nutritional intake!

Before I finish though, a request to the author or publisher. I would love to have had a couple of cupcake recipes either in the book or on the website. Not that I would likely actually try and make them, but I would love to see how some of them are made.

Stop by again tomorrow when I will share a passage from the book and ask a very important cupcake question!

Rating 3.5/5

If you are interested to find out more information you can check out the following links for the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

To visit the other stops on the tour, check out the tour schedule

Also the author, Meg Donohue, will be joining Book Club Girl on Air on Tuesday, April 24 at 7pm ET:


Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship.


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this book!

  2. The recipes would have been a good idea!

    1. Not that I would actually cook them, but yes, it would have been fun seeing them.

  3. I do think this one sounds like a treat of a read, and I am really interested in the girl's friendship and how it changes over time. I would love to read this one and see what I think, and I also agree that recipes would have been wonderful in a book like this one. Great review, Marg!

    1. Zibilee, I hope you enjoy it if you do get to read it.

  4. I'm glad you convinced your coworkers to join you for cupcakes - it is much more fun to satisfy a craving with a group than on your own! :)

    Thanks for being on the tour Marg.

    1. I don't know about that Heather! If there was just me, I would possibly have been able to sneak another one in!



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