Joan Bauer is one of my favorite authors because her heroines are always strong individuals who are unabashedly unique. If you enjoy Close to Famous, give some of her other books a try! Some of my favorites are Squashed, Peeled, and Backwater.
Foster and her mother are leaving Memphis a hurry to get away from a bad Elvis who just happens to be Mama's no good finally ex-boyfriend. They just keep driving until they get stuck in a fog bank and stop for the night. The are rescued by a couple from Culpepper, West Virginia, who just happen to have a vacant trailer in their backyard. Since Foster and her mama just happen to have no money and nowhere to go, it seems like a perfect match.
Foster has more problems than leaving Memphis. She is still mourning her father who died in Iraq, and her problems in school are worse than she wants anyone to know, but Foster has big talent and big dreams. She bakes cupcakes and muffins and brownies that can melt anyone's heart, and her goal is to be on the Food Network like her Idol, Sonny Krull, celebrity chef and former Marine.
Culpepper isn't doing so well either. The new prison was supposed to bring jobs, but it seems to be making the economy worse, the church is for sale, and the main industry in town is closed down. There's also a former Hollywood starlet living like a hermit because she doesn't want to face the world.
Foster and Culpepper are both struggling, but maybe if they work toether, things can turn around for this baker with big dreams and a town that has forgotten how to dream.
With her usual style, Joan Bauer has created a book that is funny, touching, and true. You'll laugh at Foster's dry sense of humor and sympathize with her struggles at school. This is another winner!
Visit Joan Bauer's website for recipes and other extras!
Here's a video of the author talking about writing in general and some of her other books: