Being a single mother isn’t easy, and on top of finding parent groups, Mele’s ex has called wanting their daughter as the flower girl in his wedding…
Title: How to Party with an Infant
Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings
ISBN: 1501100793 (ISBN13: 9781501100796)
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Humor, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Schuster
First Publication Date: August 9th 2016 (227 pages)
Available Formats on Amazon:
- e-book $11.99
- Hardback $11.54
- Paperback $10.71
- audiobook available through audible
Why I chose this book:
I do not read enough Women’s Fiction to truly understand the drama, especially without romance included, so I decided to give this one a try. It is also written by a well-known author, so I thought it couldn’t be too bad.
There many books out there about the troubles mothers have, but this one is told in a unique format and the feelings feel real.
Mele is a food blogger living in San Francisco as she raises her daughter alone. She tries her best to raise her daughter right and find them friends, finally landing on the parent group she has now. The meetups are fun and help her relieve some stress, but it wasn’t easy for any of them to find this group.
Then Mele’s ex, Bobby, shows up with news. He is getting married and to top it off wants their daughter as the flower girl. This brings up bad memories for Mele of their time together and how he broke her heart, but she eventually gives in. Trying to find a way to distract herself, Mele enters a cookbook contest sponsered by the San Francisco Mommy Club she is a part of. In order to make the best and most relevant cookbook, Mele decides to interview the mothers in her group for stories and inspiration. It is through these stories she will find the combination she needs to make recipes and also a way to work through the current drama in her life.
I went into this book expecting a quirky fun read and that isn’t really what I got here.
The book is written in an unique way. Most of it is done as answers to a question or stories of the mothers in the parenting group on raising their children and seeing what food it inspires. There are moments of present time, especially at the end, but I found the whole way it was written to be cool. I really liked it and found it be a unique experience.
The characters were all different with quirky personalities and stories. There was never a time I felt confused about the characters or had to spend time remembering someone. It was interesting to see inside the lives of different types of parents.
Unfortunately, I was just sad the whole time I was reading this. Yeah, there are some pretty funny moments but, there are a lot of moments where I was thinking ‘dear god is this what child raising is like?’ ‘Is this how some parents raise their kids or act with them?!’ I was so confused and flabbergasted. As a 26 year old with no children, these were the moments I realized I probably do not want to have children if this is what child-raising is like, and also where I realized that I am not the target audience for this book.
These moments made me really dislike some of the characters so, I had no feelings for them. By the end of the book I didn’t care about any of them. Yet, I feel that perhaps actual parents might relate to the characters more or like them more.
I almost quit reading the book but, it was so easy to read. The writing is so well done and unique, as I mentioned previously. The chapters flowed nicely making the book read quickly.
flawed but likeable characters, fast-paced, engaging writing style, character-driven, single mother, bay area
“Clues for the Future”
food blog, cookbook contest, Mele -mother, Ellie – daughter, Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry – friend group, San Francisco
- Quality: 4★
- Popularity: 3★
Not well-known, nor will it appeal to many
- The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center
Both books deal with a spunky main character changing their life for their children told in an upbeat way
- Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
Both books are heart-warming with a large cast told with engaging writing
- Up At Butternut Lake by Mary McNear
Both books are upbeat and fast-paced, featuring likeable single mothers with female friends
For this booktalk I might mention the writing style because some people may not like it. The interview like format at times and the characters told from the perspective of the group members may not appeal to some.
I would focus on Mele and her character since this book is very character-driven. I might also talk from the first person point of view and act exhausted, but ready for an adventure while talking sweetly of my daughter.
Another idea would be to propose this to a mother book club or even propose the idea of one because of this book and the support some mothers need.
- The cookbook portion of this book seems to be more of a prompt than huge portion of the book, but why do you think Mele enters in the first place? Do you think it became her diary? How do you feel about the results?
- What did you think of the format? Was it difficult to read? Did you like the other perspectives?
- The mommy club is one you have to pay to join. Is this a real thing? Would you or have you paid to join one of these? What was your experience?
- Different types of parenting styles were shown in this book. Do you think there are wrong and right ways to parenting?
- Let’s discuss how Mele’s relationships changed and developed over the course of the book. What do you think will happen?