Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff, author of Umbrella Summer has created a magical world in Pougkeepsie, NY ( a rather ordinary place, I have found) where nearly everyone has a special Talent.  And yes, that's Talent with a capital T.

Each chapter tells the story of a different person's gift and their life's path and the culmination of all these situations is the tangle referenced in the title.  Graff manages to take every quirky circumstance and tie all of these knots into a beautiful, magical bow.

At the forefront of A Tangle of Knots is Cady, the orphaned cake baker with an affinity for knowing the perfect cake for each person she meets.  Cady lives with Miss Mallory at the Home for Lost Girls and she has a knack for finding the perfect family for each of her charges, except of course, Cady, who cheerfully bakes Adoption Day cakes for all of the girls who eventually leave the home.  

Across town The Owner of the Lost Luggage Emporium is bitterly carrying the baggage (pun intended, sorry) of his lost family treasure while his upstairs tenants; The Ashers, troublesome Zane and Will; Marigold, who is searching desperately for her Talent and terrified that she'll only be Simply Fair and Mrs. Asher, the incredible knitter and Mom, are each harboring their own secret. 

With quirky, fun characters and recipes* this story evoked Polly Horvath's delightful Everything on a Waffle.  And the serendipitous world in which they reside, full of secrets and Talents, reminded me of Ingrid Law's lovely Savvy.  Thoroughly enjoyable, but you need to pay close attention to see how everything and everyone ties together.  

*Warning! Recipes will make you long for a trip to the bakery.

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