When In Doubt, Add Butter

by Beth Harbison

"It was like the silliest old romantic movie come to life, with every piece falling into place like a stack of blocks in Tetris."

Gemma Craig is a 37 year old self-employed personal chef.  She cooks for people in their homes; she has a steady series of clients for each day of the week.  She cooks for a department store owner named Lex; a Russian family; a high-profile, wealthy (and snobby) family; an overweight, stay-at-home poker player, and a mysterious man (who she has never met) who she refers to only as "Mr. Tuesday." She spends her fleeting moments of free time with her very pregnant cousin, named Penny.  

Gemma goes out to celebrate with a girlfriend one night, and ends up taking home a handsome one-night-stand named Mack.  Through a series of missed connections, Gemma ends up with no contact information for the apparent man of her dreams.  Things are falling apart in her business world as well. Her Friday client has fired her. Events that she usually caters for are being cancelled.  One of her clients has made an inappropriate pass at her.  This entire time, she is kept sane by phone calls and flirty notes left between herself and the illusive Mr. Tuesday.  Those, and memories of her glorious night with Mack.  

Right when everything is about to fall apart for Gemma, things start looking up.  As if by magic or divine providence, new clients are found.  She is happy and fulfilled by her work, if not more hungry and an emotional than usual.  And somehow, it turns out that her happily ever after was much closer than she thought all along.  

I picked up this book because I loved the author's Shoe Addicts Anonymous, for obvious reasons.  Harbison didn't disappoint in her latest novel.  I found Gemma to be a lovable leading lady; she was caring towards her clients, she took pride in her work, she was doing something she loved, and when everything wasn't going to plan she made a new plan.  Sure this book could be filed as Chick Lit. I mean, it has the flowery cursive and pastel-coloured cupcakes on the cover.  I think that it had some more meaningful threads to it, though.  Harbison seemed to be addressing the human need to be nurtured and the importance of providing love and care for another individual, whether it be love between friends, love for a spouse, or even love for an unplanned baby.  

I recommend this novel wholeheartedly.  Just make sure you're not reading it on an empty stomach; Gemma cooks some delicious sounding meals. :)
♥ Meg xoxo

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