Jenna’s relationship with her mother Beth and father Marshall was built on love. One of the best lines in the book is very telling about the special bond between mother and daughter. Beth tells Jenna to jump start her personal life after a messy divorce and rather than apologize for interfering simply says to Jenna – it’s in my DNA – you’re going to have to suffer through my quest to see you happy. The story of Jenna Stevens is an exploration in finding out who she really is even if she wasn’t really looking. Seeking answers for unasked questions. It’s a quandary. Can you really have it all. Families are complicated but that’s simplistic when explaining the family Jenna found herself a part of. Leaving California and her ex behind Jenna faced some disturbing truths about the person she had become – most specifically as a chef. In his quest to build himself up at her expense Aaron did a masterful job of undermining Jenna’s self confidence in many ways. Coming home to Texas she decides to open a store filled with the best gadgets for kitchens, a place where she could market tools of the trade and avoid testing her skills as a chef. But she quickly realized it wasn’t really her forte. She needed help and got really lucky when Violet answered her ad. Some may believe in luck but perhaps it was fate. And as fate would have it Jenna’s world was about to become very complicated. It seems as if her birth parents decided, after thirty two years, to meet the daughter they gave up for adoption when they were in high school. Jenna and Violet reinvented the cooking shop Grate Expectations after initial ideas met with disaster. They were definitely onto something when their experimentation with varied classes was met with enthusiasm from their growing clientele. But life would never be the same for either of them after the arrival of a strange couple who were new to the area but not actually strangers to Jenna. On the surface they were just looking to make a connection with the daughter they never had the chance to know or watch grow up but Jenna couldn’t get past a niggling doubt that there was more to it. After all why did they wait so long to meet her and she couldn’t help but wonder if their presence in her life would forever alter her relationship with the parents she had loved all these years. Sure there was risk but isn’t anything worthwhile a little risky.
Warm snappy dialog between this adopted daughter and her mother win your heart immediately which is signature Susan Mallery. Every member of the cast of this story has amazing depth and charisma. Even if you really want to hate them Mallery reminds you to take a deeper look. This is one of my favorites of hers to date and is sure to be yours. Enjoy.
After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She's supported her ex-husband's dreams for so long that she can't even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents' home and envisions her very own cooking store.
Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna's adoptive mother. But just as she's gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.
Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex's latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….