Julia’s Child

Sarah Pinneo, Author
Sarah Pinneo. Plume, $15 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-452-29731-9
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 01/31/2012
In this charming tale of pleasing the demanding mommies in New York City and beyond determined to give their little darlings nothing but the best that money can buy, Julia Bailey starts a business, Julia’s Child, making healthy toddler meals. The effort comes easily to Julia, who discovers she has a knack for getting her own children to eat foods like lentils and broccoli (and the subject matter comes naturally to Pinneo, a cookbook author and food journalist who includes recipes in several chapters). Armed with organic products and cutesy names like Muffets and It’s Not Easy Being Green Beans, Julia invests a healthy chunk of her family’s savings in her fledgling business—employing Marta, a former welfare mother-cum-sidekick—as she aims for national distribution. Julia’s Child gets a big boost after Marta runs into Lizzie Hefflespeck, the host of a morning talk show, The Scene (a barely fictionalized version of ABC’s The View), and persuades her to feature Julia on the show. Orders immediately begin pouring in, and Julia gets that coveted shelf in Whole Foods, but as business booms, the entire reason for starting the company in the first place—to provide her two young sons with everything in life—takes a backseat to the frenzy of growing a startup. When a major investment conglomerate expresses interest, Julia is forced to choose: family or career? How she arrives at that decision and why makes for an entertaining read as Pinneo skewers the cult of the child with an insider’s eye. A witty, well-plotted fiction debut. (Jan.)
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