In her second memoir, creative director and writer Thomas (Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate), 2012) chronicles her new life in Brooklyn.
Turning 40, falling in love, and becoming a mother are all life-changing events. The author recounts moments of her life as it veered from the freedoms of a single career woman in New York to a first-time mother in Brooklyn. If reading a step-by-step narrative of someone’s wedding sounds appealing, you will love Thomas’ breezy, whimsical style. Throughout the book, the author delights in long descriptions of food, many of which are excessive or unnecessary. For example, Thomas describes a culinary treat whipped up by a graduate of the French Culinary Institute: “After all, this is what she had been doing, eating, and dreaming about her whole life: whipping up crazy concoctions like crack pie, a densely sweet-and-salty pie that sits with an oat cookie crust, and compost cookies, which cram chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pretzels, potato chips, and coffee grounds into one beautiful, buttery mass of goodness.” The author also runs down the benefits of breast-feeding and provides plenty of details about her burgeoning relationship with her future husband. In addition to the specifics about breast-feeding, new mothers may find Thomas’ list of the contents of her diaper bag to be helpful (she always packs an extra change of clothes in case of “explosive poops”). Unfortunately, too much of the narrative feels like a lightly edited diary, and cringeworthy moments abound—e.g., the book opens with, “in the fall of 2008, fate walked through my office door.”
For those swept along on the author’s culinary high, she has thoughtfully listed the many restaurants in New York, Brooklyn, and Paris mentioned in the text. Many readers, however, will find the overload of information too much.