Reviewed: “How to Party with an Infant” by Kaui Hart Hemmings

27276345HOW TO PARTY WITH AN INFANT is a bit of a misleading title for an otherwise fine book.

There are no infants, to begin with, and lead character Mele does not party. Mele has a child, who is old enough to be potty-trained, say some words, and walk around. She is not an infant. Mele is a single mother who spends her days at playgroups and playgrounds with a group of friends, selected by the San Francisco Mother’s Club. None of them are really ever in the mood to party.

Maybe the title is meant to be ironic… that the idea of partying with an infant is irony at it’s finest.

Still, though, no infants to be found.

The premise of the story is good. Mele, it seems but is never made totally clear, is either an aspiring amateur chef or was an actual chef before getting knocked up by her engaged-to-someone-else boyfriend. Short story, she likes to cook. So she enters a cookbook writing contest sponsored by the SFMC. The cookbooks are supposed to be inspired by other members of the SFMC so Mele focuses on the other mothers, and one father, in her playgroup and creates recipes based on stories they tell her.

None of the stories are totally happy. Everybody has problems and it is the problems that inspire the food. As it should be. Problems make life interesting.

Some of the stories are more interesting than others. Some feel more thought out and some feel sort of phoned in. The book itself reads sort of like a collection of short stories, based on the stories of Annie, Georgia, Barrett, and Henry with editorial commentary from Mele. But that’s what it’s meant to be, I think.

HOW TO PARTY WITH AN INFANT checks all the boxes for an easy chick lit summer read; single mom, cute kid, angsty romance, glossed over details, girlfriends…

The weak parts of the story are few and simple; misleading title, that I finished it two days ago and can remember the stories in general but not who belongs with what story, and that it’s sort of like reading about the troubles of the 1% and upper middle class from the perspective of Mele, who is obviously supposed to be the middle class everywoman.

All in all, I’m glad I read it and if easy chick lit is your thing you should read it too.

(I received a copy of HOW TO PARTY WITH AN INFANT from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)

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