The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
Why I chose this book
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake….What is it about a coconut cake? Well for me, my childhood memories are filled with it’s pillowy goodness. It brings your soul back down to earth and reminds you of warm summers on the back porch with your grandmother. It has prompted me to not only read a book about it, but to also write a post about the coconut and all the amazing things you can get from it. Choosing this book was an easy choice for me as coconut cake brings back feelings of home and nostalgia.
The Characters & Plot
The Coincidence of the Coconut Cake flows like a foodies version of You’ve Got Mail. Lou, an up and coming chef/restaurateur living and working in Milwaukee. She is engaged to high power attorney Devlin. Lou has made her grandmother’s semi-famous coconut cake for Devlin’s birthday. To Lou’s dismay Devlin does not appropriately receive her coconut cake surprise with open arms. Lou catches him in the midst of a tryst with another woman. Lou flees the scene cake in arms. Then, coincidentally (literally) he runs into Al as she is fleeing the debauchery.
Al, a British food critic is living in Milwaukee and hates his job along with the city. Al can’t get the girl with the coconut cake who smelled of vanilla and bacon out of his mind, especially after seeing her upset at the coffee shop and running from something. Why was she upset? Why did she have a coconut cake with her? What was she running from? All of these questions remain unanswered and controlled his every thought. To take his mind off the mystery girl he takes on his next assignment to which he unenthusiastically goes to review a small French restaurant, Luellas.
Scorched yet underdone fish along with flimsy salad causes Al to leave the Luella assignment meal before finished. The scathing review that follows was one of his best. Hoping to attract the attention of his superiors to get him out of the food critic arena and into more serious writing he is thrilled at his newly found food critic fame. Celebrating his review takes him to a bar where he meets Lou. As Lou is drowning her sorrows from a bad review of her own restaurant she hears him bashing Milwaukee and intervenes. She challenges him to see the sights of her lovely city to try and change his point of view.
Unbeknownst to either of them that Al is the very food critic who just bashed Luella’s and that Lou is, in fact the head chef/owner and the victim of the acclaimed review. A charming relationship ensues. The two spend a series of “non dates” exploring all that Milwaukee has to offer and in the process Lou gets Al to fall in love with her and her adored city. All is right in their worlds….until…..
Al discovers Lou’s true profession and her restaurant’s fate as a result of his review. The charade of lies that develop to prevent Lou from ever discovering this creates a tangled web that ultimately turns into a dumpster fire for Al. How will Lou recover from losing her restaurant and a broken heart? How will Al salvage the betrayal of the woman he loves while continuing his writing career? Well…you will just have to read the book to find out.
Overall, I enjoyed this lighthearted, somewhat predictable book. It kind of reads like a Lifetime Movie, but yet has several twists that I felt were clever enough to keep me entertained and wanting to read more. The characters are likable and the author does such a good job promoting Milwaukee that I am ready to book a flight! I ultimately chose this book because it had to do with food and that is a continual theme throughout. It is after all my quest to sweetly discover all things baked. The descriptions of dishes and desserts will have your mouth watering and your stomach growling. If food and baking and all things related captivate you then the lingo and drama that surrounds running a restaurant will entice you and The Coincidence of Coconut Cake will be an enjoyable escape.