True Confections by Katharine Weber

I was surprised to get an email from Katharine Weber, asking if I’d like a free copy of her latest novel, True Confections. After all, I specialize in writing about candy, not books.

True, I’ve referenced Steve Almond’s Candyfreak, but that’s nonfiction and very candy-centric. I assumed that in Ms. Weber’s novel, about protagonist Alice and the fake candy company Zip’s Candies, candy would be just a plot device and that the characters would take center stage.

But then I read the New York Times’s review of the book. The following blurb really caught my attention (emphasis mine):

“There are two narratives at work here. One is about Alice?s doomed attempt to assimilate into the Ziplinskys and her husband?s ultimate betrayal. The other, even more compelling, concerns candy itself: how some of the brands we remember so vividly ? Abba-Zaba bars, Peeps ? owed their existence to the kitchen experiments of immigrants.

That was intriguing – clearly Ms. Weber did her candy homework. Further evidence of her research can be found in her personal blog. Check out this blatantly racist Abba Zaba box from the 1920s that she managed to track down!

The Times Book Review and Ms. Weber’s blog convinced me that True Confections was candy-centric enough to warrant a news post here, the assumption being that if I found it interesting, y’all might too. There’s also a contest tie-in, where basically all entries get some sort of prize.

Ms. Weber kindly sent me a copy of True Confections, even though I told her I’d write a news post about her book without one. She promised that candy bloggers and candy conventions would feature in the story, so I’m even more excited to start reading. Just as soon as I finish the other three books I’m simultaneously reading…