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Julia's Child: A Novel

Julia's Child: A Novel

4.0 5
by Sarah Pinneo

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A delectable comedy for every woman who's ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.

Julia Bailey is a mompreneur with too many principles and too little time. Her fledgling company, Julia's Child, makes organic toddler meals like Gentle Lentil and Give Peas a Chance. But turning a profit while saving the


A delectable comedy for every woman who's ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.

Julia Bailey is a mompreneur with too many principles and too little time. Her fledgling company, Julia's Child, makes organic toddler meals like Gentle Lentil and Give Peas a Chance. But turning a profit while saving the world proves tricky as Julia must face a ninety-two-pound TV diva, an ill-timed protest rally, and a room full of one hundred lactating breasts. Will she get her big break before her family reaches the breaking point? In the end, it is a story about motherhood's choices: organic versus local, paper versus plastic, staying at home versus risking it all.

A cookbook author's hilarious fiction debut, Julia's Child will have foodies and all-natural mamas alike laughing, cheering, and asking for more.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this charming tale of pleasing the demanding mommies in New York City and beyond determined to give their little darlings nothing but the best that money can buy, Julia Bailey starts a business, Julia’s Child, making healthy toddler meals. The effort comes easily to Julia, who discovers she has a knack for getting her own children to eat foods like lentils and broccoli (and the subject matter comes naturally to Pinneo, a cookbook author and food journalist who includes recipes in several chapters). Armed with organic products and cutesy names like Muffets and It’s Not Easy Being Green Beans, Julia invests a healthy chunk of her family’s savings in her fledgling business—employing Marta, a former welfare mother-cum-sidekick—as she aims for national distribution. Julia’s Child gets a big boost after Marta runs into Lizzie Hefflespeck, the host of a morning talk show, The Scene (a barely fictionalized version of ABC’s The View), and persuades her to feature Julia on the show. Orders immediately begin pouring in, and Julia gets that coveted shelf in Whole Foods, but as business booms, the entire reason for starting the company in the first place—to provide her two young sons with everything in life—takes a backseat to the frenzy of growing a startup. When a major investment conglomerate expresses interest, Julia is forced to choose: family or career? How she arrives at that decision and why makes for an entertaining read as Pinneo skewers the cult of the child with an insider’s eye. A witty, well-plotted fiction debut. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Pinneo, a cookbook author who used to work on Wall Street, has seamlessly blended her two interests into this cute fiction debut. Julia Bailey is a mother of two little boys who runs a fledgling organic toddler food products company called Julia's Child. She's making the rounds of her local Brooklyn neighborhoods, trying to sell more of her toddler "muffets" (savory muffins) and hoping to hit the big time. In the same vein as Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It, we watch Julia struggle with home vs. work issues and attempt to succeed in a difficult business enterprise. Fun subplots involving Julia's children and husband, her Scottish nanny, and her right-hand businessperson, whom she hired from a welfare-to-work program, keep the story popping along. Unlike Pearson's novel, Pinneo goes into fascinating detail about her character's work life, describing the intricacies of how the food industry and corporate world work. VERDICT Well written, well paced, and very absorbing. This reader learned a lot, and pages kept turning quickly!—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Entrepreneur mom struggles to balance the demands of her growing business with the needs of her young family. Making healthy frozen organic food for finicky toddlers, Julia's Child fills a niche that its founder, Julia Bailey, truly believes should be filled. A nutrition-obsessed former Wall-Streeter with two little boys, she runs her tiny operation out of a shared kitchen in Brooklyn with one full-time employee, and a slightly sketchy storage arrangement with a Mr. Pastucci and his Sons of Sicily Social Club. She also owns a small organic "farm" in Vermont where she hopes to source her own ingredients—someday. Counting on the support of her laid-back husband Luke, and their sweet-natured Scottish nanny, Bonnie, she is able to make her life work, barely. That all changes after an appearance on a morning talk show gives Julia and her signature savory baked "muffets" all the visibility they can handle. Soon after, Whole Foods comes-a-calling with a trial offer, forcing Julia and her devoted assistant Marta (a single mother fresh off welfare) into a punishing schedule. Add to that a make-or-break trade show, a website to be built on the fly and a nasty neighbor mom who wants to ban Julia's kids from their apartment building's playroom, and it is clear something has to give. Enter GPG, a global food conglomerate interested in purchasing Julia's company. What they offer seems too good to be true. So is it? And what will she have to give up in return? Peppered with real recipes and the kind of convincing details expected from a food writer, Pinneo's debut novel uses a pleasantly frenetic pace to move along a fairly vanilla story line. Foodie take on I Don't Know How She Does It.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Sarah Pinneo was a Wall Street dealmaker before making the transition from breadwinner to bread baker and food journalist. The coauthor of The Ski House Cookbook, Pinneo lives in Ludlow, Vermont, and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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Julia's Child 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
AlisBookshelf More than 1 year ago
I love stories like this one, stories about a strong woman that tries so hard to hold everything together. A woman who tries to and does an amazing job of juggling her own business and her family at the same time, even with its really tough not seeing her family all the time. Julia's Child is a book that will surprise you though. Inside its pages you will not only find an incrediable story, but also some great recipe's. Julia is a very inspiring character. Like I said above she stands up for what she believes in, which is feeding kids nutritious food with making it taste good. She not only does that but she also goes full thortle to get to her goals. I loved reading about her time with her kids and her husband. My favorite play time with her kids would have to be her time in the homemade tent. (not going to give it away, so you will have to read the book and find out why I love that part.) Julia's husband is another great character in this story, he's strong for her and lets her go for her dreams. Now that is a real man!!! I also love her kids in this book. They are so smart. They can tell mommy is working really hard to get what they need. I loved all the characters in this book, they were well developed and very personable. I love reading characters that I can see something of myself in. All in all Julia's Child is a great read and a very inspiring story for people to read when they feel like giving up. This book could give them some hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book give it a try
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Julia Bailey is a stay-at-home Mom who takes the topic of her children's nutrition quite seriously, but her kids are slow to get the point and frequently pose comical and crazy questions that challenge Julia on a daily basis - very funny often! But Julia's trying to start a new business with an organic food company named Julia's Child! What's the focus - healthy eating - cheese and vegetables into the most unusual products like pancakes and muffins. It may not be such a new idea now but it's still great to see how it all started - and the sample recipes in the novel are fascinating to consider - and try! The other interesting part of this novel is to follow how a small entrepreneur starts a business initially stocking her products in a small Brooklyn store. Next step a break on a TV show; next step approached by Whole Foods, the well-known natural food store, and so much more. The reader will learn quite a bit about the "organic" label, what it really means, as well as marketing and business aspects of growing a flourishing, lucrative business! This is a light-hearted novel that was pleasant, informative, funny, and interesting all the way through to the last page - a supportive husband and adorable kids add to the fun and adventure of the journey! Nicely done, Ms. Pinneo!
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
Crunchy momma, Julia Bailey, has taken her love for making healthy foods for her children and turned it into her own small business, Julia’s Child. Julia’s Child is all about making healthy snacks for toddlers and Julia dreams of the day when she can get Whole Foods to sell them in their stores. After a chance meeting, Julia’s Child begins to really take off. Great right? Well, as the business grows so does the debt while the time she can spend with her family begins to shrink. When things begin to look like all hope is lost, a life preserver suddenly appears but is it what it appears? Julia finds herself struggling between holding fast to her ideals or becoming a sellout. The question becomes is there a middle ground and can she find how to live in the moment? I really enjoyed Julia’s Child, I found it to be a light hearted read with some real life lessons to be learned. As a mom, I can appreciate Julia’s struggle with finding a happy balance to her life and to her dreams. I’ll be honest; when I first started the book I felt a little mommy judgment. I am not a crunchy momma. I’m not. Yes, I feed my children fruits and vegetables and when we go out to eat mine will yell in unison for a side of steam broccoli over French fries any day of the week. But I don’t mind them eating some amount of processed foods at the same time. By the time the book ended I could really appreciate where Pinneo went with the story. She really conveyed how we as moms do have our things we feel strongly about and truthfully we all look for some shortcuts along the way and we each need to find the ones that work for us and not judge each other. This really hit home for me and I couldn't agree more! A book mom’s can really appreciate (and some recipes in there too, I can’t wait to make my shopping list this week)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read this for book club, and it was a great choice. There's plenty to discuss--motherhood, the organic food movement, responsibility. And the book is funny, too!