A dream restaurant + A bad food review = Dashed hopes and new beginnings. A chef and a food critic are brought together by fate. This is a story about Lou and Al who accidently bump into each other on a cold morning seemingly unaware about the fate that their destinies have planned for them. As Lou hurries give her fiancé a surprise on his birthday, Al sets out to review a new restaurant that he has been tipped about. While one tries to bake a dream perfectly, the other threatens to spoil the icing. Find out more about Lou and Al’s lives in this review.
Insights on the Plot
The story starts on an interesting note by familiarizing the readers with Lou, a gifted chef who is struggling with her appearance at a high profile party with her fiancé Devlin. Lou is the owner of Luella, a recently opened restaurant named after her grandmother who inspired her to love food. Devlin, on the other hand, is the well-tailored lawyer who does not approve of Lou working on a food dream.
A series of events makes Lou call off her engagement with Devlin. She bumps into a grumpy Al the same day and the two bump into each other at a bar the next time. Al is instantly smitten with this down to earth girl and wishes to stay in touch.
Al works with a newspaper as a food critic under the pseudonym A.W. Wodyski and is known to be quite ruthless with his words. He decides to review Luella on the day when Lou has broken up with Devlin. The result is a badly prepared meal which convinces Wodyski that the restaurant is no good. He reviews the place so viciously that it affects Lou’s business forcing her to make the decision of pulling down the shutters on her dream.
Meanwhile, Al makes an agreement with Lou to help him roam around Milwaukee and explore its culture. Both decide to keep work out of their discussions and they keep meeting without each realizing the identity of the other’s profession until Al stumbles up on the truth. He is horrified to know what his review has done to Lou and cannot come up with a way reveal the truth to her.
Understanding the Characters
Lou has been portrayed as the girl next door who is humble and passionate about everything that is precious to her. She bakes perfect cakes and whips up delicious icing without measuring her ingredients which says a lot about her confidence in the kitchen. She can easily spot the good in people and prefers to focus on the positives. However, we are also given a glimpse of her dark mood and suffering when she takes into account the things and people that she has lost.
Al Waters is a true Englishman with his cute accent and polished courtesy. Schooled at Eton, he had always lived under the wing of his elder brother who is more successful. Al hates everything about Milwaukee – the climate, the food and the people and has made up his mind to relocate soon. His encounter with Lou makes him see the good in everything and enjoy life which also reflects well up on his work. He is shown to be a gentleman who honestly wishes to set things right.
A Reader’s Take
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a beautiful melody between aspirations and the passion that leads one to fulfil their dreams. Lou’s passion for food and her restaurant is expressed quite succinctly in the book. Al is a guy who is shown to undergo a transformation after being with Lou which teaches us that perceptions vary with people and your outlook towards people and things in life will depend on how you choose to see things around you.
The story starts on a promising note with a lucid and fresh description. The food dishes have been crafted so realistically that you will be left salivating at the end of each description! It also shows that Amy Reichert has a good amount of experience regarding the culinary world and the way it functions. This comes either from a great deal of research or from the author’s own gastronomical experiences.
While Lou and Al get along well, the story tends to become predictable and a bit typical when the sequence stars playing exactly like most other love stories that comprises of two people meeting, developing a great chemistry and then realizing the damage that one has done to the other! The story also features an old couple named Otto and Gertrude who are the made-for-each-other types and are full of ancient wisdom about love and compatibility. A bit over-played in my opinion.
This book is a good choice if you love reading romantic novels snuggling in your bed with a cuppa in your hand. It has a lighter tone which does not get overbearing on your thoughts prompting you to read a few extra pages without any hurry. You will definitely get sucked into the world of Al and Lou and journey with them as they get to know each other in a better way!
Death to stock / Angelica
Death to stock / Angelica