Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Review: "True Confections" by Katharine Weber

Have you ever imagined what it might be like to work in a candy factory? Not like the Willy Wonka-kind, or the Lucy and Ethel chocolate assembly line in I Love Lucy, but a real (albeit fictional) candy factory? Katharine Weber's True Confections provides a glimpse into that world. The book tells the story of Alice Ziplinsky, who marries into the family that owns relatively-famous Zip's Candies. Alice spends the book chronicling the history of Zip's Candies and the challenges faced in the world of confections when you're not as powerful as M&M/Mars or Hershey, as well as the personal challenges she faced through the years.

I found this book really entertaining and tremendously interesting, for while it talked about fictional candy brands, it provided a great deal of detail into the candymaking process and the business as well. But when the book veered from the story of Zip's Candies to the story of Alice or her family, the entertainment value dropped a notch or two. This book is told in the form of an affidavit from Alice, so it is tremendously detailed, almost too much so in certain areas. Bravo to Katharine Weber for creating such a unique story; I just wish the characters' stories were as interesting as the story of the candy.

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