Julia St. Clair and Anita Quintana’s lives have been intertwined since they were toddlers. They grew up on the same property, attended the same schools, and were best friends…until high school. It was then Annie realized how different she was from the rich, beautiful Julia…she was the daughter of the help. Slowly their friendship fades until one day, when Annie discovers Julia’s been spreading rumors that she is a thief and a liar, it is seemingly broken beyond repair. As a result, Annie is removed from school and her place at college is threatened. The icing on the cupcake, so to speak, is the sudden death of Annie’s young mother. With that tragic event, Annie swiftly removes herself from the privileged world of the St. Clair mansion and the rich neighborhood of Pacific Heights.
Fast forward 10 years: Julia returns from to San Francisco after a successful career in New York to plan her dream wedding. Annie is a struggling head baker and dog walker in the Mission district of San Francisco. They are thrown back together at a charity event which Annie caters. Together, they hesitantly decide to embark on a business venture: a cupcakery in the heart of an up and coming neighborhood. Things are not easy for them or their business, as alarming incidents begin to occur and secrets begin to surface. Will they be able to stay on course? Can Julia keep her happily ever after, or will her secrets destroy her?
How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue is a charming, affable novel. It is at turns light, witty, sarcastic, fun, and sweet. It is excellent for what it is – a well done novel that falls distinctly into the chick lit category. Just a warning, after reading this novel you will want to hunt down a cupcake (preferably this one – a delicious meyer lemon cupcake with marscapone icing). If you like How to Eat a Cupcake, you’ll likely enjoy Delicacy by David Foenkinos, which is equally as charming.