A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
Laura Taylor Namey
Lila had plans. Finish school, take over the bakery with her grandmother, employ her best friend to support her through college and maybe get married to the love of her life. Unfortunately she can only do one of these things for certain – suddenly the rest of her life is in upheaval and she’s shipped off to England.
I found it fascinating how much freedom Lila had! My parents would never consider sending me overseas like that to deal with a problem (in fact, they made sure I wouldn’t be equipped to do that). I can’t really imagine managing a kitchen at 18 either, but I guess it’s what you are used to. I totally saw where this novel was going, and I was perfectly happy to go there. I wanted a soft, casual read on vacation that I could drop out of at any time.
What this book also does quite well is validate creativity in baking. Sure, Lila knows her stuff well enough to out-cook the resident baker, but she knows that she has more to learn. Trades are a legitimate job choice, and I’m happy to see it being promoted here. I’m not sure what this would look like in Australia though. The restaurant industry can be very tough, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19.
The way that Lila literally ran to deal with her feelings was quite novel. I feel like most of the time someone takes up running to be thinner, or just because they like it. Lila does state she enjoys it, but running past the point of being sick is something else. Not to mention dragging her friends in to run with her!
I enjoyed this novel as a light 3-star-worthy read. I read it as an eBook, which doesn’t help the story to stick in my head though (several months later anyway…). Highly recommended for anyone who likes a baking vibe to their fiction (eg. Caramel Hearts).