Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo

Julia is a New York City mom with two young boys who is running a fledgling business creating healthy meals for toddlers. She is desperately trying to balance it all and make good on the investment her husband made in her business but despite long hours and some great ideas (Give Peas a Chance), Julia is just barely holding it all together. When an appearance on a morning television show brings unexpected attention and opportunities to Julia and her business, success is within striking distance. But . . . the challenge of balance has arguably gotten worse and there are tradeoffs (think selling out) that Julia must consider. Despite all this talk of hard work and struggling for balance, Julia's Child is laugh out loud funny with a main character you really want to see make it.

Julia's business idea is brilliant - organic, healthy food for toddlers. Moms are generally very conscious of what they are giving their young children to eat and its a time in their lives where many transition to a more organic diet even if just for their kids. But even with a great idea and the ability to leave the corporate world behind to focus on her business and hopefully have more flexible time with her children, Julia finds herself stretched so thin that her Nanny spends much more time with her kids than she does and she is driving her assistant straight out the door. This crazed schedule creates many funny moments throughout the book as Julia hectically shuttles between her business responsibilities and her kids at home I truly enjoyed this quick read. Although I don't have kids, I can relate to the hectic schedule and the desire to make it all work so it was fun to read about Julia's escapades as she tried to hold it all together. I liked the fact that the author allowed Julia to laugh at herself and to have doubts about some of the choices she made - it would have been easy for Julia to become very sanctimonious about the organic food choices she made for her kids but, like many of us who want to eat more organically, Julia has moments of doubts where she wonders if paying $6 for a box of organic crackers is really worth it.

Author Sarah Pinneo has also written a cookbook and this novel ends each chapter with one of "Julia's" healthy toddler recipes. She also has written articles (you can find links on her website) about eating locally and food economics. I think this lends the novel authenticity - the author knows her subject well and therefore it rings true throughout. I have seen this novel compared to I Don't Know How She Does It (which I also loved) and I agree with the comparison - same humor amidst a crazed life with a main character trying to do it all for all the right reasons. If you are a Mom, you will find much to like in this book; but even if you are not but have a hectic schedule and/or struggle with the art of healthier living, there is something in this book for you too!

I received a copy of this books electronically via NetGalley

10 comments:

  1. Trying to make build your own business is a hard enough proposition, having to do it with young kids to take care of, too, seems about near impossible. Definitely sounds like a recipe for some funny chaos! Great review!

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  2. This sounds like a lot of fun!

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  3. This does sound like a lot of fun!

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  4. This sounds like a fun read that would be right up my alley! I love foodie novels. Thanks for putting it on my radar; I hadn't heard of it before!

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  5. This does sound like a good book! And I'm with these other people who will read anything about food!

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  6. Thank you, everyone! This review just made my day.

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  7. Oh my gosh this book looks so good! New title to me.

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  8. I saw this book somewhere last week and was mildly tempted, but as I recently am having some work/life balance issues of my own, your review makes me really want to read it now! Thanks!

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  9. This sounds so cute. I can't wait to read it.

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