TLC book tours stop for the first novel by Virginia Franken. Centered around 30-something wife, mom, and coffee buyer Amy O'Hara, Life After Coffee delves into the somewhat taboo storyline of a working mom who actually enjoys her life. Amy has a hunky husband (Peter) who takes care of their two young children (Billy, 5 and Violet, 3) while she travels the world in 6-week stretches, sourcing the finest coffee beans and connecting with farmers and is happy to be the sole breadwinner in the family.
Her life tumbles down around her when her boss sells his company due to troubles in the coffee industry and she's left without a job. Peter is only too happy to immediately hand over the reigns so that he can finish the screenplay he's been working on for five years. Hilarity and hijinks ensue as Amy realizes that she really has no idea how to fill the parental role she's been thrust into.
On top of connecting with her kids and the world teachers and moms that come with them, she also has to deal with the everyday activities that Peter used to do. Vacuuming, dishes, laundry, shopping...Peter quit everything cold turkey once she was home.
To make matters worse, Amy's ex (from right before Peter) is now back in her life, and she's even more confused. She fed her lactose-intolerant son cheese...twice. She had a sorta-kinda affair with the ex. She lost a child. She got into fights. She applied for jobs with kids in tow.
So, both Amy and Peter sound kind of unlikable from my description, and I almost wanted to find them unlikable, but they weren't. As a parent, a wife, and a woman, I actually found many of the situations relatable. I mean, oftentimes in an exaggerated or satirical sense, but that's often how I see life, so...
The only thing I wished there were more of was "coffee geekery". There was one scene that hinted on it with "cupping", but I would have loved to have learned more. There were mentions of food...bacon, eggs, sandwiches, applesauce...but coffee was really the main focus.
I would have loved to have made a really clever coffee house drink to go along with Life After Coffee, but I was in a time crunch (of my own doing), and opted instead to make something that might be enjoyed alongside a good cup of coffee. I went with muffins...pumpkin, because...October.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
book tour, books, Einkorn, Food Inspired by Books, muffins, Pumpkin, quick bread
Pumpkin Einkorn Muffins | Life After CoffeeMonday, October 24, 2016
Michiana-based food writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.