I find it funny that in middle-grade fiction this year, two totally separate authors published a book called Scones and Sensibility and a book called Pies and Prejudice. Both books are on our Cybils list. I just finished Pies and Prejudice, and I have to say that, like pie, the book was kind of a guilty pleasure for me. It doesn't make my shortlist of favorites, but I still really liked it, because it's my kind of book. A little unlikely romance, a few Jane Austen references (or a lot, in this book's case), and I'm hooked!
Pies and Prejudice is the fourth installment in the Mother Daughter Book Club series. Since I haven't read the other three, I know I don't have the proper background for judging it, but as a stand-alone novel, there were just too many characters! There are five girls, all of their mothers, and two older women in the book club, so that's twelve characters you have to try to keep straight, right off the bat. Then there are their fathers, siblings, schoolmates, teachers, and crushes. I felt like I spent half the book trying to figure out who everybody was. And then the story itself comes from four of the girls' points of view. So just when I was getting comfortable in one girl's head, the next chapter hopped into another's. But like I said. If I'd read the whole series, I'm sure I would've been introduced properly to all of these people. So maybe it's a moot point.
My final beef with what was otherwise a delightful, fluffy-easy kind of read, was that the story I found most interesting--the love/hate relationship between Cassidy and Tristan (the Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy of the story)--was totally glossed over! They apparently hated each other, and then we never got a chance to see Tristan act anything but the conceited snob, and then they're all pal-y at the end? I was so bummed about that. Anyway. Still a fun read. Though I guess my final final beef with the book is that it made me totally desperate to have a daughter. *sigh*
Recommended for mothers and daughters. :)