Monday, September 24th, 2007
SUMMARY (as given by the publisher):
Lexi Stuart is at a critical crossroads. She’s done with college but still living at home, ready to launch a career but unable to find a job, and solidly stalled between boyfriends.
When a lighthearted conversation in French with the manager of her favorite bakery turns into a job offer, Lexi accepts. But the actual glamour is minimal: the pay is less than generous, her co-workers are skeptical, her bank account remains vertically-challenged, and her parents are perpetually disappointed. Her only comfort comes from the flirtatious baker—but even may not be who he seems to be!
So when a handsome young executive dashes into the bakery to pick up his high profile company’s special order for an important meeting—an order Lexi has flubbed— she loses her compulsion to please. “What am I going to do?” he shouts. “Let them eat cake!” she fires back with equal passion and a nod to Marie Antoinette. And then, something inside Lexi clicks. Laissez la révolution commencer! Let the revolution begin! Instead of trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectations for her life, Lexi embarks on an adventure in trusting God with her future—très bon!Lexi – and Let Them Eat Cake- will entertain readers with wit and great fun, but also explore the universal coming-of-age themes of separating from one’s family of origin, establishing self-esteem, and making healthy choices.
Okay, so knowing myself and my reading habits, I shouldn’t have liked this book.
- As I stated in my last review, I don’t like the first person (except Madeline Brent’s novels–for some reason, those are different)
- I’m not into the whole “chick lit”/Bridget Jones’ Diary-type book. I’m also not big on present-day settings (I used to tell people that anything after 1945 was “after my time”)
- The book doesn’t have a really-o truly-o Happily Ever After.
- Although I am a Christian, I often cringe when reading Christian romances because:
- They tend to cram the Gospel down the reader’s throat (which is a sure way to make most people dig in their heels or run away screaming)
- Nine times out of ten, they’re terribly, terribly cheesy.
That being said, I will admit quite loudly that I really, really enjoyed Let Them Eat Cake. I read it in one delightful evening of eating cookies whilst soaking in the tub (a nice cheap Mom escape).
I’ll try to answer my own biases.
- Lexi is written so naturally that I had no issues whatsoever with the first person point of view. I actually think the book wouldn’t have worked near as well if written in the third person.
- True, it’s set in the present day. But I have so been there, that whole situation of out of college, with a degree I couldn’t find a job with, living at home, no bank account, and the only dates I had were the pitted and boxed kind. Even down to the Meat Market singles group at church. Sigh. Reading Lexi’s thoughts so often felt like I was reading my own diary.
- Yes, there’s no set-in-concrete HEA, but the story does end happily, and there’s the promise of a possible HEA in the future, so I wasn’t disappointed. An out-and-out HEA would have turned the story to Cheez-Whiz.
- Lexi’s Christianity is so much more realistic than I usually find in these books. She has her doubts, but they’re not OH SO DRAMATIC! She hears that still, small voice without it turning into some mountaintop experience. She tries to be a good witness, sometimes fails, but asks forgiveness, picks herself up, and keeps on going.
- And the cheese factor just wasn’t there.
What else to say? The humor was great. I especially liked Lexi’s modern version of casting lots. The pacing was not too fast, but fast enough. The secondary characters are well-defined; I could almost hear myself thinking, “Hey, that sounds just like so-and-so.” The story crosses generations well–I gave it to my mother to read, and she liked it too. I know enough about cooking to get most of those references, I’ve even lived in Washington state. About the only thing that got a bit on my nerves was all the French thrown around, but that’s probably because I’m not too interested in France.
So, to wrap this up, Let Them Eat Cake is a delightful mouthful of a book. Not too much, not too little, not sugary-sweet, and just the right amount of spice. I definitely recommend it .
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