The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
by Amy E. Reichert
This book made my epicurean heart drool while also prompting me to scour Airbnb for fun finds in Milwaukee for a weekend getaway. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake was exactly the book that I needed to read when I picked it up. I needed a light, happy book; a book that makes you want to curl up with your favorite pint of ice cream and devour all in one sitting. Fair warning: the pint of ice cream may not satisfy because Amy Reichert, a self-described amateur chef, described the food with so much love it had me salivating throughout the book.
The Milwaukee born and raised Elizabeth, or “Lou” to her friends, has nothing but love for the city and its food culture. Lou is the owner and chef of Louella’s, a French restaurant that is just starting to get noticed. She breaks up with her boyfriend on the day that a food critic from the local paper chooses to patronize the restaurant. Understandably distracted, she does not prepare the food up to par and thus receives a scathing review. On the same day a handsome English journalist, Al, sees a girl on the street carrying a coconut cake. He gets one whiff of the tantalizing smell of vanilla and coconut and thinks about the cake and the girl carrying it for days. They run into each other again and since work isn’t going well for Lou after the horrible review and Al writes under a pseudonym to keep his work identity separate, they choose to keep the conversation light and away from work. They continue to see each other, her showing the Englishman the best of Milwaukee culture and food while falling in love over cheese curds. And then it happens, they find out that each other is known by a different name and things look like they may be beyond redemption for Lou and Al.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake reads like it belongs on the Hallmark Channel. It is a classic rom-com and perfect for those who just want a book as light as Lou’s frosting of her famed coconut cake.
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