Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food.
Not just with eating it – though she loves that too – but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV’s biggest egomaniacs – until she’s left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers’ market.
Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market’s weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she’s even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder – along with her relationship and her reputation.
What we say – Review by Elizabeth Wright:
The Stall of Second Chances focuses on an aspect of life that we can all relate to; matching life dreams with reality. You have a perfect image in your mind of what your life could and should be, but then the real world just doesn’t quite match up and make the ideal a possibility. So what do you do? Sydney Strauss sets an excellent example, because she tries. She works hard for little money until she actually makes a mark on the world and gets a little closer to her dream.
The combination of romance and food is a popular one in fiction and that is because it is so satisfying. However, Dana Bate takes it one step further, introducing us to the local food movement. This is one aspect of the book that really drew me in, although I would have enjoyed even more information on it. At times the writing is a little unrealistic and clichéd, but some moments really gripped me and I enjoyed seeing Sydney’s personal progression through the story. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Dana Bate’s next novel.