Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cakewalk - Kate Moses

Cakewalk: a memoir by Kate Moses/ The Dial Press/ 2010/pgs 347
Memoir/Family Mother-Daughter relationship/Cooking

Kate Moses has a weakness for sugar. As do I. I found myself smiling at her sometimes devious wonderment of sugar in all its forms. Sugar seems to be the only stabilizing force in her estranged family. From a father who doles out approval in frosted animal cookies to a mother who keeps every packaged snack in stock to her own culinary efforts to win approval from her peers and self. However, sugar does not fix everything in her life. She chronicles her awkward growing years, changing schools, trying to make friends, issues of weight, getting a career, motherhood, all on the background of trying to deal with a dramatic, over-bearing, beautiful mother who at her core loves her daughter but constantly places strains on their relationship all throughout Kate's life. I would definitely recommend the book to someone interested in mother-daughter relationships especially trying to understand the pressures place between them.

The added bonus is that it is laced with wonderful recipes that usually center around a story or theme within the chapter she writes. The recipes range from cakes and fudge to bread and candy. However, most seem to require more finesse than just boiling water especially since Moses seems to be a noted baker granting praise from M.F.K. Fisher and Kay Boyle.

She writes with a simple, lyrical prose detailing her surroundings with a nice narrative writing. Overall, I liked the book, wasn't quite in love or enthusiastic about it as I thought I would be but I do think she is a lovely writer, not over-dramatizing her living situations, very realistic, pointing out that time is a great virtue in all facets of life.

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