Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Chick Lit
The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.
When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else.
Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both.
How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable.
I really wish Mele were real and not a fictional character because I would find her and become her friend. Yes, she’s been dealt a pretty crappy blow. She didn’t know Bobby was engaged to someone else when they began their relationship but when she found out she was pregnant she decided to go it alone. She has some help from Bobby, but the majority of child rearing falls on her shoulders. Instead of wallowing in self pity, she makes the best of the life that she has. I admire that and love her kick ass, fighting spirit.
The format of this book is cool. Mele decides to enter a cookbook contest hosted by the San Francisco mommy group she’s a member of. The book is her filling out the application for the contest, which sounds boring. Except it’s Mele who is writing it and she is anything but boring. She’s funny, brutally honest, and carefree. In between answering the questions for the contest there are personal stories from each of her friends from her parenting group; Annie, Henry, Georgia and Barrett. These tidbits are authentic and candid and add so much to this story.
Clearly Hart Hemmings has participated in mommy groups as well as online parenting message boards because she nails it! They are full of cattiness, competitive parents constantly trying to outdo each other, and bickering about the most asinine things. Mele’s tales of trying to find a group to join before finally finding people that she actually wants to spend time with are wickedly funny and accurate. If you’ve ever joined a parenting forum you’ll know exactly what I mean.
I haven’t laughed this much while reading a book in a long time. Seriously, I’m not just saying that like I chuckled underneath my breath. I’m talking full blown cracking up laughter. Mele is not afraid to air her dirty laundry or the dirty laundry of her friends and this makes for some highly entertaining and hysterical scenes.
The ending did feel a little bit rushed after all of the build up to, should Mele go or not go to her exes wedding? But I would like to think that’s because Hart Hemmings was making the point that Mele didn’t need Bobby anymore and that he isn’t significant enough to take up more time in her story.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my copy in exchange for an honest review.