We gathered recently over lunch at Alexandra’s Table, a cafe & shop in the shadow of the San Gabriel Mission. Seven Bloggers, all of whom had read the book, Heartbreak Cake, and had looked forward to meeting the author, Cindy Arora, and hearing her talk about the chick lit genre work set in Long Beach amidst a world of foodies, high-end weddings and lots and lots of cake.
And of course, we got to sample some Heartbreak Cake itself. This delicious creation was made especially for our lunch by HERS Bakery. And I can assure you it was worth every extra minute of workout required.
Heartbreak Cake, a first novel by Arora, who we’re sure has many more up her sleeve, is the story of Indira, a pastry chef looking for love in what turns out to have been all the wrong places, as she tries to build business for her bakery, keep her friends from disowning her and figure out her true path in life.
In flashbacks, we see Indira begin her career on the catering staff at a fancy hotel, where she meets Josh, the man she falls for, who unfortunately turns out to be married, albeit to a woman who’s left him to pursue her life abroad, but then returns to claim her husband, which is when it all starts to fall apart for our heroine.
The Long Beach setting is really brought to life in this story, and you can tell the author has fond feelings for the town she lived in for several years. And food is central to the story, as you can imagine from a book with a title like Heartbreak Cake. One blogger said she wanted to bake the whole time she was reading the book!
The food at Alexandra’s Table was a terrific accompaniment to the book club conversation. We had a mushroom soup, a salad with butternut squash and a lovely brie and apple sandwich on crusty French bread. We each got a slice of the soon-to-be-famous Cake, which was super moist and really more delicious than my words can describe. Kudos to the HERS Bakery again!
Finally, each blogger went home with a special Heartbreak Cake cupcake, made for us by A Sweet Design, a bakery in Chatsworth that sells the book, too! Sweet treats and good reading – what could be better?