Market Street

Anita Hughes, Author
Anita Hughes. St. Martin’s, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-2500-2039-0
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-312-64333-1
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In Hughes’s second trip to Northern California (after Monarch Beach), Cassie Fenton has grown up shadowing her mother through Fenton’s, an exclusive San Francisco department store owned by the family. Raised to take the reins, Cassie instead chose marriage, to Aidan, a UC Berkeley professor. She spends her days tending her organic garden and volunteering at the Edible Schoolyard project. Around the time Aidan has an affair with one of his students, Cassie’s mother presents her with a project that promises even more turmoil: to oversee the opening of a food department in Fenton’s, modeled after the one at Harrods in London. Cassie’s passion for organic food serves her well as she reluctantly takes on the task, and she finds returning to Fenton’s oddly comforting. The work, and a new friendship with James, the architect for the project, gives Cassie the space to decide whether or not to forgive her husband. With her best pal (and secret marketing genius) Alexis on board to help, and her relationship with James inevitably evolving into something more than friendship, Cassie finds herself carving out a new identity. Although Fenton’s is an appealing setting and the banter between Cassie and Alexis is frivolously fun, stronger characters and a less predictable arc would have made the book more memorable. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
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