How to Party With an Infant
By Kaui Hart Hemmings
Published by Simon and Schuster – Audio
August 9, 2016
Hardcover & e-book 240 pages
Read by: Joy Osmanski
7 hrs and 14 mins
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.
When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else.
Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both.
How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable.
This was a fun book to listen to. The audio was well done and the narrator made me feel I was hearing the character such that I could almost hear the cries of kids on the playground and the sounds of San Francisco in the background.
While the story ostensibly deals with Mele’s dealing with single motherhood as well as learning her baby’s father is cheating on her AND on his fiancee, it is also about learning to handle her life, making friends and frenemies, and finding her path. And, it is finding out how her friends live and that her life is not the most screwed up of them all. Some stories felt a little outlandish for my experience, but they all deal with raising kids which I have not and, well, thinking of it, I have a lot of outlandish stories in my life too.
I like books where food is part of the characters’ stories. In this case her friends’ stories give rise to recipes and menus she collects for a contest for a mother’s club she joins to facilitate meeting other moms. When food is connected to our experience it becomes part of our history and culture.
Parts of the story delivery is narrative, parts are Mele’s application for the contest and part are her friends’ stories and the resulting menus.
My only issue is the nebulous nature of the romantic relation I think may have been forming. That I am not sure there’s a relationship developing is telling.
But, other than that, I enjoyed the witty, snarky stories as well as the change up in delivery. I give this one a thumbs up!