Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

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 she has her eye on–but even he 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!

I can't even begin to express how much I loved this book. I had previously read the second book, so I knew what decisions she was going to make at the end of the book. There was no suspense, and yet I still very much enjoyed the journey of reading. I cried at the end, not because it was sad, but because I loved the book so much, and it was over.

This book had a lot of things I love. First, it was a book, so it gets bonus points right there. Second, there was talk of Paris and France (the second book takes place just outside of Paris, so it gets slight bonus points there, but this one didn't lack). Third, it mostly took place in a little cafe/bakery. Now, I don't really cook. I don't think I really like to cook. But I want to like to cook. I'd love to be able to whip up pastries and figure out delicious recipes. So when I read books like this it inspires me. It makes me think maybe I could try to like it.

The one thing I didn't like about this book had nothing to do with the story itself. It made me a little sad. It made me want to go to Paris so much that it hurts. When I visited Europe for two weeks (Brussels and Paris), I felt like it was where I was meant to be. I liked the oldness of it. The cathedrals, the cobblestone streets, the more laid back attitude. I liked walking everywhere. I really liked the pastry shops. I loved all the beauty--it's just so different from the way things are here.

But back to the book . . . I plan to re-read the second book, and hopefully have a fuller appreciation for it now that I've read the first. The second book didn't make my favorites list, as this one did, but it may after a re-read. And bonus! The third book comes out in a couple of weeks. These books are ones that I would heartily recommend, and will be going on my keeper shelf as soon as I can get ahold of them (since I can't keep the library copies).

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