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True Confections: A Novel Paperback – December 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"True Confections" is written in the form of a deposition that Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky has to write for a court case she's involved in. Is it criminal or civil? I think it's civil, though Alice, now in her 50's, has a charge of arson in her past. "It was an accident. I didn't mean to burn my friend's house down with a water gun filled with charcoal fuel!", she writes, referring to an event that changed her life, putting off college, and going to work at a candy company in New Haven, CT. She takes to the making of candy like the proverbial duck to the proverbial water. She marries at age 18 the son of the owner of the family-held candy company - Howard Ziplinsky - and becomes a working partner in the company, Zip's Candies. From production to marketing, Alice tends business as she tends her two children by Howard. The company, founded in the mid-1920's by a Hungarian immigrant - is still successful, producing niche chocolate and licorice candies.
Years go by and Howard and Alice make both a family and good candy together, but Howard leaves her to live in Madagascar, which is the home of the other half of the Ziplinsky family. Alice takes full control of Zip's and things start happening under her control.Read more ›
Zip's Candy has been around since the early twentieth century, founded by one Eli Ziplinsky and his brother. The three primary candies are Little Sammies, Tigermelts, and Mumbo Jumbos, all names taken from the children's book, The Story of Little Black Sambo.
The story starts out with Alice telling the reader about her entrance into the Ziplinsky family. She has applied for a job and is hired by Sam Ziplinsky, the current patriarch of the family, on the spot. This is a real coup for Alice as she has a history of being found guilty of a grade three felony for arson. Alice goes through all the hoops she can to let the reader know that the whole trial was a farce and the arson itself an accident. She had an incompetent lawyer and she would never have been found guilty under other circumstances. The media has named Alice 'Arson Girl" and she carries this shame with her. Working at Zip's changes Alice's life. "Perhaps some people would call this destiny. Zip's candies needed me, and I needed Zip's Candies. An inexplicable joy welled up in me as I realized that I knew that my life could start again from here, from this moment."
Alice loves the Ziplinsky family and shortly after starting work there, gets involved with Howard, Sam's son.Read more ›
Katharine Weber is an erudite but highly entertaining writer, who scatters bits of French, Latin and German (not to mention Malagasi--the language of Madagascar, as we learn) phrases through her otherwise earthy and mostly hilarious tale of four generations of the Ziplinksy family. The first-person narrator, Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky (a.k.a. Arson Girl), has a WASP family of origin but when she marries into the Zip clan, she almost immediately absorbs the high-energy, combat-ready modus operandi of her new meshpocheh.
The compelling story is told in the form of an affidavit, and it is only one of Weber's literary achievements that she grips our attention without revealing, until near the end, the reason for the affidavit. But this is no dry document--it's a rollicking tale of fascinating family dynamics and some dysfunction, as well as an apparently fact-studded tutorial on candy manufacturing.
At the outset, we have no reason to believe that Alice is telling anything other than the truth, but gradually we realize that either she is changing over the years, or she has always been a somewhat unreliable and opinionated narrator. The issue of truth is at the core of the novel, and the reader is frequently challenged to sort it out from the embellishments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking for some light, fun summer reading. All I got was a boring book. Don't bother spending your money on this one.Published 10 months ago by Lulu Fishbaum
I ordered this book because I have read Katharine Weber in the past & enjoyed her writing. Actually I enjoyed this story also. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Daniel Waring
Fascinating insight into the candy business! I didn't enjoy the authors style of run on sentences. But, I think that was planned...part of the charm. Fun read!Published 24 months ago by CJ
It seemed like an interesting idea, but it doesn't deliver as unfortunately it reads like a non-fiction novel which isn't true. So what's the point? Read morePublished on December 31, 2011 by James Montgomery
This is the second Katharine Weber book I've read. The first, Triangle, about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, had a similarly enticing subject. Read morePublished on August 26, 2011 by S. A. Waggoner
this book was a chocolate lovers delight.it was fun to learn about the candy business from the inside out. Read morePublished on June 24, 2011 by L.I. LINDA
This gratuitous political crap hurts you, authors. Another recent book, another author with a left wing axe to grind that ruins the book. Read morePublished on June 15, 2011 by carolina38
When I began this book, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it. But it has to be one of the most unique and clever books I have read in a long time. Read morePublished on February 22, 2011 by Book Ninja
I wanted to like it more! It was a very interesting history of the independent candy business in the USA, but only a medium-compelling family saga. Read morePublished on January 3, 2011 by cynthia ashworth