From Publishers Weekly
Jacobs follows The Friday Night Knitting Club
with another multigenerational tale, this time on the foodie circuit. Popular Cooking with Gusto!
host Augusta Gus Simpson, a widowed mother of two adult daughters who's about to turn 50, is tiring of her many obligations, which include throwing an annual birthday bash for herself. That trial pales, however, in comparison with the introduction of saucy former beauty queen and YouTube star Carmen Vega as Gus's cohost: Carmen is younger, hotter and very tight with the boss. It's soon apparent on the set that this new situation isn't working, so the two are packed off, along with a forgettable cast of secondaries, to a corporate team-building weekend, complete with New Age guide. When the resort's head chef calls in sick, a team-building opportunity presents itself. Jacobs gives Gus a reasonable love interest and provides the requisite bickering and backstabbing, but the foodie moments lack passion, and the results yield no stars. (May)
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Jacobs’ follow-up to The Friday Night Knitting Club (2006), also available from Blackstone Audio, features a widowed 50-year-old woman who is a host on a television food show and facing competition from a younger star. Rosenblat infuses the somewhat clichéd prose and characters with tension, warmth, and humor. Drawing on years of experience and a veritable magic bag of accents and vocal tones, Rosenblat expertly discerns all the characters. Reading in a breezy pace, she uses a nasal voice for kooky friend Hannah; introspective and self-doubting tones for leading lady “Gus;” and a spicy, dramatic accent for villainess Carmen, among others. The story goes down as easy as a scoop of vanilla ice cream with Rosenblat adding the syrup, whipped cream, and cherry. A quality production for collections where the earlier title circulated well. --Kaite Mediatore Stover