Scarlett’s blog has found success beyond her wildest dreams. A TV show is on the cards and the Secret Cooking Club has several new members. What’s more, her mum is getting married, and Scarlett is baking the wedding cake. Everything is perfect… or is it? Her estranged dad arrives in town unannounced, and Scarlett’s friends say fame has gone to her head. As the wedding approaches, she has much more on her mind than the perfect bake…
Guest Post by Laurel Remington
“Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.” – Mae West
What is it about a wedding? The happiest, craziest, most beautiful, and potentially most stressful day of a woman’s life. From an early age, girls are bombarded by images of ‘happily ever after’ – Cinderella marrying the prince, Snow White riding off into the sunset on a white horse, Ariel giving up her tail for legs so she can marry the prince – and somehow, this ideal becomes embedded in their minds, for better or for worse. As they girls get older, wedding bells ring once again in classic literature. We root for Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet to find their happy endings – and I’m sure that more than one tear has been shed at ‘Reader, I married him’. And in modern literature, entire sections of bookstores these days seem to be devoted to variations on themes of ‘little cafes by the sea’ – purveyors not only of delicious cakes and scones, but traditional love and romance. And of course, weddings.
In The Secret Cooking Club: Confetti & Cake, thirteen-year-old Scarlett has to contend with the pressures of being a popular blogger, issues with her friends, and her estranged dad returning to her life. But as far as stresses go, the icing on the cake for Scarlett is her mum’s upcoming wedding. Her mum becomes instantly obsessed with the trappings of the day – the perfect dress, food, decorations – and to top it off, she’s going to be on a TV wedding show. For Scarlett, the burden of expectation that’s being placed on this one day is practically unbearable. Can the Secret Cooking Club help her save the day, or will it all end in tiers?
It was such fun writing this book and getting into Scarlett’s head as a flurry of wedding insanity is whipped up like a soufflé. She wants her mum to be happy, but she seems to be the only one who realises that the wedding preparations are making things worse, not better. Even her friends are swept up in the madness and don’t quite understand Scarlett’s worries.
I love a good wedding – the dresses, the flowers, the dancing, the free-flowing champagne – and I respect every bride who puts so much into her special day. But I think it’s also important for young people to realise that a wedding is only one day, and that marriage, family and relationships are about handling the ups and downs of life that come with every day thereafter.
I hope that you will enjoy Scarlett’s continuing journey, and find inspiration and joy in the fun, food and friendship of Confetti & Cake.
Laurel Remington’s new book, Confetti & Cake, is out now. Laurel’s first children’s book, The Secret Cooking Club, was the winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2015, and has inspired many young readers to try their hand at cooking and baking.
I’m a writer of children’s and teen fiction. I’m also a mum of three girls. I work as a lawyer for a renewable energy company that builds wind farms. I was born in California, and now live in Milford, Surrey (UK).
The Secret Cooking Club was inspired by my three daughters who love to cook (and eat!) anything sweet. I like to bake with them (though, to be honest, I’m not a very good cook – and when I’m busy writing or editing a novel, we eat a lot of pasta and beans on toast!).
Check out my review of The Secret Cooking Club