Kevin Alan Milne
Center Street (Hachette), Jun 2010, $19.99
Though years have come and gone since the pivotal tragedy of her life, Gig Harbor, Washington resident Sophie Jones never moved passed the accidental deaths of her parents when she was nine years old. When her fiancé Dr. Garrett Black breaks off their relationship, she becomes depressed. A chocolate shop owner, she creates and sells the Misfortune Cookies that are made with bitter chocolate and contain cynical messages that all focus on this is the worst of all possible worlds but will inevitably get even worse. Her philosophy is Murphy is an optimist
Garrett returns to town and wants to start anew with his beloved. She rejects him, but it is how acrimonious and angry Sophie has become that shocks him. They make a bet over an ad they place in the local paper: "Wanted: Happiness." He insists 100 people or more will respond; she says no way. If he is right she will go out with him; if not he will not bother her again.
This is a bittersweet sugary tale that though over the top of Mount Rainier is fun to read. Fans will want the acrimonious Misfortune Cookie writer to be proven wrong, but have no hope this will occur. Sophie is terrific with her life sucks attitude while Garret tries to prove her wrong. With a great twist albeit not realistic, fans will relish this fine character study of how a tragedy impacted three families still affects the survivors years after the harrowing bereaving incident.