In this smart, delicious new novel by the bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, a celebrity cook shows her friends and family the joy of fulfillment – and manages to spice up her own life at the same time.
Shortly before turning the big 5-0, hostess extraordinaire and Cooking with Gusto! TV personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she’d rather ignore – her own. She’s getting tired of being the hostess, the mother hen, the woman who has to bake her own birthday party. To make things worse, the network execs at the Cooking Channel want to boost her ratings by teaming Gus with the beautiful, ambitious Carmen Vega, a former Miss Spain, who is decidedly not middle-aged.
But Gus won’t go without a fight. She recreates her show as an on-air cooking class, which she uses as an excuse to bring together her extended family for some lessons in life as well as cuisine. The new cast includes her bickering daughters, fickle Sabrina, who has just gotten engaged for the third time, and overserious Aimee; Troy, Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend, and Hannah, Gus’s timid neighbor. And while Gus may have to deal with Carmen’s diva behavior, she also has to contend with a new culinary producer, Oliver, a handsome ex-banker who raises the temperature just a little beyond Gus’s comfort zone. In the pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus realizes that she might be able not just to rejuvenate her career but to improve her family life – and perhaps her love life as well…