Meade Creamery opened for business in 1945, and after the owner’s unexpected death, Amelia is determined to keep this local institution going—if she can.
Molly Meade began selling ice cream in the small holiday town of Sand Lake, employing only local girls. When Grady Meade, age 19, the great-nephew to whom Molly’s left the Creamery, arrives to run the business, Amelia’s at first thrilled. (His good looks don’t hurt.) A business major guided by his tycoon father, Grady plans big changes—profits are too small, salaries too high, the location could be better. Dismayed and alarmed, Amelia—usually deferential—resists, realizing that Grady needs her hands-on experience to run the Creamery successfully. As their partnership and mutual attraction grow, Grady’s dad pushes him to maximize profits. Meanwhile her growing commitment to the business distances Amelia from her best friend and fellow employees. All major characters are white. A meandering start and focus on Creamery minutiae slow the narrative, but patient readers are rewarded with a rare, enjoyable portrait of a woman-run business. Operations and decision-making detailed include the stash of PMS tea and tampons in the office and the intricacies of allocating bathroom cleanup.
Amelia possesses the qualities she needs to achieve her goals but, like many girls, lacks confidence in using them; watching her evolve is empowering. (Fiction. 12-16)