Every year Marnie and her friends get together for a cookie party. Each member of the cookie club has to bake thirteen dozen cookies, which also need to be beautifully and unusually wrapped. They give the cookies to each other and also donate to a local hospice. Each cookie comes with a story, which is emblematic of the year that has just passed.
The cookie club or biscuits as we Brits call them, began sixteen years ago, and was a reason for twelve friends to ensure that no matter what life threw at them, they would get together after Thanksgiving to eat, drink and more importantly talk with each other.
The head cookie bitch is Marnie, and she is waiting news of whether or not her daughter’s pregnancy will be okay. Her daughter has had several miscarriages in the past and doctors have discovered a genetic defect, which has a fifty-fifty chance of being prevalent in every pregnancy. Marnie is on tenterhooks throughout the evening, waiting for a call from her daughter.
Charlene is slowly trying to recover from the sudden death of her son, Luke. Jeannie has discovered that Sue is having an affair with her father. Rosie knew, but didn’t tell her. They have fallen out, and the atmosphere is tense. Rosie has recently discovered that her husband doesn’t want children, as he has ‘been there done that’ with his first wife. But Rosie does. Will she be able to persuade him otherwise or will she be able to live with his decision? Twelve stories to be told, twelve friends to tell them.
When I first looked at this book, I thought great, it has recipes in it, and this is probably why I bought it. I liked the fact that each chapter was dedicated to a particular cookie club member and her story it also has their cookie recipe at the beginning. But, and this is a big but, it’s an American novel, and some of the ingredients are not available in good old Blightly. You could experiment with alternatives if you have an idea what the original ingredient is though. A prize if you know what a ‘2-10 ounce package of grasshopper chocolate covered cookies are?’ The mind boggles, but that’s what baking is all about. Experimentation! I must mention that the measurements are also American, but there is a conversion table at the front.
The end of each chapter contains a historical element of a particular ingredient. Which is all very interesting (and it was), but I found it detracted away from the story too much, and as a result I felt that the story became slightly fragmented in places.
My heart did go out to the women when they imparted their own personal tales, and I really felt empathy for each of the characters. I nearly cried when I read of Charlene’s tale of how she lost her son, and Marnie’s daughters’ pregnancies. It is a lovely book and I believe it is based on the author’s own experiences of running a cookie club. I like the idea of a cookie club, but I don’t know of any friends who would bake that many cookies; they would just turn up with wine and dips and forget the cookies!
I rate this book 6/10
You can purchase this book here