True Confections: A Novel

True Confections: A Novel

by Katharine Weber

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307462558
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 12/29/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

KATHARINE WEBER is the author of the novels Triangle, The Little Women, The Music Lesson, and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, the cultural historian Nicholas Fox Weber, and is a thesis adviser in the graduate writing program at Columbia University.

From the Hardcover edition.

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True Confections 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
booksinthebelfry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun, dizzying romp charting the rise and fall of one family's candy-making fortunes, told entirely from the perspective of an outsider who married into the business and who may or may not be slightly insane. I happen to love an unreliable narrator, as well as books in which I learn something about an unfamiliar world, so I found this novel a thoroughly enjoyable antidote to the end-of-winter doldrums.
JackieBlem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The protagonist of this book, Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky, is not the easiest person to like. She's got her quirks. But she also cares a great deal about her family and especially the family business, which is candy making. Written as an affidavit, this is the story of one complicated family, two fires, and a whole lot of sugar. The premise is interesting and the pages begin to turn themselves as the reader puzzles over what's the truth and what's just Alice. It's also full of fascinating historical tidbits about the candy industry which are a lot of fun.
Knicke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The detail, the detail, the excessive detail regarding candy and candy production - far and away my favorite thing about this book. The writing is smart enough that I'll seek out other books by this author someday. It's difficult to construct an after-the-fact first person narrative that doesn't give away the whole story until the right time, and Weber succeeds. I did get a little bogged down at times just because I occasionally get frustrated with unreliable narrators. But since I also get frustrated with real, live unreliable narrators...maybe that speaks to this book's believability.
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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