Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: November 20th, 2014
Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food. Not just with eating it - though she loves that too - but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV's biggest egomaniacs - until she's left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers' market. Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market's weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she's even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot atthe story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder - along with her relationship and her reputation.
The Stall of Second Chances is a great book full of memorable characters and food-related jobs. It's realistic in its portrayal of ambitious twenty-something journalists, and is a lot of fun to read. Plus, there might even be a hilarious embarrassing moment or two to make you laugh!
I started this book with the intention of just reading a chapter or two, but that soon changed when I was sucked straight in to Sydney's story. She's an aspiring cookery reporter and journalist still nursing the affects of a bad break-up five years earlier, and works at a TV station until she suddenly loses her job. After that it's literally back to basics as she tries to figure out her life and career, all the while working at a farmer's market and possibly embarking on a somewhat risky new relationship.
Sydney is a wonderful character, brimming with ambition and intelligence, not to mention a good ounce of stupidity. Some of the things she does later in the novel left me shaking my head; how could she not see the ramifications of her actions?! Still, she learns from her mistakes and still strives to make herself better, even if that means refusing to keep secrets and sit back while her friends and family get hurt. She has the odd daft moment that comes back to haunt her, but overall she's a fun, sensible person with her sights firmly set on what she wants.
The Stall of Second Chances isn't a laugh a minute, but it does have its humorous moments. It's more serious than I thought it was going to be, but I ended up really appreciating everything it has to say and the way Sydney handles her life. Nothing is going according to plan for her, but she never lets it get the better of her. She's strong, and a dab hand when it comes to standing up for herself.
I enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to read more by Dana Bate. I have zero interest when it comes to cooking myself, but Sydney and her journey has made me rethink my stance on the subject - perhaps it's not as boring as I thought after all. The Stall of Second Chances will sit well with any fiction-loving bakers out there, as well as anyone who just likes a good adult romantic comedy. It's easy to read and great escapist fiction - exactly what we all need after a long day at work!
[Click to enlarge.]