True Confections: A Novel

True Confections: A Novel

by Katharine Weber
2.8 10

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True Confections 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
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GailCooke More than 1 year ago
"How sweet it is!" TRUE CONFECTIONS is as irresistible as a box of chocolates - the story is filled with greed, love, fun, lust and the incorrigible Alice Ziplinsky. She is not a true Ziplinsky not having been born into the family but married into it. Hired fresh out of Wilbur Cross High School to work on the Zip's Candies Factory floor, Alice diligently approached her tasks in the summer of 1975. On her first day at work after five minutes she had just about mastered the art of "separating and straightening the Tigermelts" when Alice looked up and saw for the first time her future ex-husband, Howard Ziplinsky, son of the firm's founder, Sam, and his grumpy wife, Frieda. Founded in 1924 Zip's did well with the manufacture of sweets, especially Little Sammies, so named because the elder Ziplinskys learned to speak English by reading Little Black Sambo. However, success was not to last because a few bad decisions, such as the production of "Bereavemints," which had a deleterious effect on the mourners and led to lawsuits. Plus, Zip's was small and could be eaten alive by conglomerates and other hungry giants. Is it curtains for Zips? But first some history - Alice (who inherited the majority of the company) has been through many years of psychoanalysis and now feels fully prepared to dissect and describe the family's ids and idiosyncracies in an effort to retain control of the business. That makes for an amazing story that includes the use of slaves on a cacao plantation and involvement with the Jewish mafia. Weber fills her tale with a three generational history, smile provoking asides, and a blend of fact and fiction. - Gail Cooke
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Ever since she accidentally burned down the home of a classmate as a teen during a temper rage, Alice Tatnall has just wanted to be accepted as a person and not as "Arson Girl". The incident cost her a college scholarship and forced her to accept work at Zip Candies. There she meets the confectioner's heir Howard "Howdy" Ziplinsky, ten years older than her and Jewish. They fall in love and marry, but she remains ostracized by the family as the "Arson Girl". Two kids (Julie and Jacob) and working diligently at Zip Candies apparently is not enough to overcome that one transgression even though over three decades have passed. In an affidavit, the fiftyish Alice explains the history of the company that she cherishes. Zip's was started by impoverished Hungarian immigrant Eli Czaplinsky who developed his famous first candies like Little Sammies and Mumbo Jumbos from teaching himself English after stealing a copy of the controversial Little Black Sambo from the library. She further explains connections to a runaway slave, Nazis and the Little Susies crisis as well as her relationship with Howard who is in Madagascar while she battles his avaricious sister Irene who plans a hostile takeover in order to strip the company of its assets for her personal gain. Using a legal affidavit as a neat gimmick to tell the tale of a candy company and its extended owning family, True Confections is a delightful story that is at its best when the plot pulls no punches as it explores racism in the confectionary world. The cast is solid though seen through the filter of Alice who at times cleverly hesitates on her true confessions re confections. This is a deep look at a person who has found her life making candy and the company that she cherishes; especially the roots. Harriet Klausner