Author: Francis Gideon
Length: Novel (195 Pages)
Publisher: MLR Press (August 28th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Blurb: When Nate Reid meets the vegan Billy Lawson, he is forced to spend a lot more time in the kitchen before he can truly understand that Billy is more than just what he keeps on his plate.
Nate Reid never considered veganism until he meets Billy Lawson, a skinny, quiet kid who works at the local grocery store. With Billy’s help, Nate slowly learns what he can and cannot make during the beginning months of their relationship until a family secret from Billy’s past threatens their bond.
Will their conflicting desires in the kitchen make an exciting partnership or will Billy’s refusal continue to isolate him? Nate searches through cookbooks, his best friend Marlee’s advice, and his favorite novels from his college years in order to find answers for both of their futures.
ISBN # MLR-1-02014-0288
Product Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=FGHTMACC
Review: When I read other reviews, I came to the conclusion that this is a very misunderstood story. How To Make A Carrot Cake really isn’t about vegan lifestyles, it’s about love, powerful love, sacrifice, painful loss and soul shattering life experiences.
One truly must experience what Billy is going through to understand his reactions, his behaviors, and how painful it is to let someone else in. I can’t give the big secret away or it ruins the book, but when you are going through what Billy is, your whole life revolves around it, your life is not your own, you live, eat, sleep and wake according to the other person.
I still to this day do not wear a watch because I had to set my life patterns, and that of the other person, to the face of that watch.
I have lived what Billy did and can feel each event, I understand the effort it takes to let another person in, and wanting to compartmentalize them so you can feel a bit of respite, and then get back to reality. I was so proud of Nate for taking the path he did with Billy, he is a huge hero. You can see this type of decision making in Nate’s character is his true nature, just to observe how he takes care of Marlee, you can see that.
Yes, Nate and Billy cook together, and Billy teaches Nate about vegan cooking. The real issue is not about vegan-ism, but about why people make the life choices they do. What triggers such a big life change and who are they really doing it for, themselves or someone else?
The intimate scenes are good, the ones toward the end are very powerful, but that is not really the meat and potatoes of this book. My only criticism is about the style in which this is written, the he did this, and he did that kind of description gets a bit documentary. I like more showing less telling in writing.
Other than that, How To Make A Carrot Cake is a beautiful, powerful story about the human condition, love, understanding, and sacrifice.