Sunday, April 04, 2021

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie

Downing, Erin Soderburg. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie
April 6th 2021 by Pixel+Ink
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach have struggled with life in Duluth after the death of their mother four years previously. Their father, a university professor, has thrown himself into his work and left Lucy to deal with a lot of the daily problems in the household, but things change when he impulsively buys a food truck and proposes a summer on the road. It's not easy to run a food truck, but the crew decides that they will use an old family recipe for peach pie and see if they can make the truck profitable as they wander about the Midwest. The father, in addition to sourcing ingredients for their recipes, has managed to book several food truck events and file the pertinent paperwork, and with a goal in mind (as well as some interesting side trip ideas), the group is off. Their plan is to end the summer at a food truck fair in Delaware, Ohio, where they prize is $10,000. Then they'll see if the food truck, which the mother would have loved, is successful enough to continue. Lucy is a bit doubtful, but packs an impressive number of books for summer reading, writes letters back home to her Great Aunt Lucy, and throws herself into working at the food truck. Each member of the family brings something different to their operation, which does have a number of problems. The group is camping, in order to save money, and this has its own challenges! There are ruined batches of pies, tickets for selling pie without the proper permits, and difficulties with the food truck breaking down, but there is some fun, too, which was sadly lacking in their lives. From Minneapolis to the Wisconsin Dells to Michigan, Indianapolis, and even North Carolina, the family meets their challenges together and finds a new way of going forward. When they land in Ohio, will they be able to win the food truck competition? And will it make any difference to their new path?
Strengths: It's hard to go wrong with either books about pie or road trips! It didn't hurt my feelings at all that this book was set in an area of the US which I have been forced to traverse again and again. Of course, the group doesn't go to the Wisconsin Dells right away! You have to see the signs for a number of years before you HAVE to stop. There are lots of good details not only about the scenery, but about running a food truck and living in campgrounds. I especially appreciated that their final stop was very close to me, and that they met a woman there named Lois Sibberson in an obvious shout out to Franki Sibberson of My Reading Year, whom I have followed for a long time! 
Weaknesses: Like talking animals, parents who don't deal well with grief to the detriment of their children will always be something that irks me. At least the father is shown finally trying to improve the relationship with his children. Perhaps when the group gets home to Duluth, they'll use the money from the food truck to get some counseling. 
What I really think: This was a great road trip with a lot of fun elements that should be popular with readers who enjoyed Little's Worse Than Weird (the only other book I can think that deals extensively with food trucks!), Pla's The Someday Birds, Anderson's Finding Orion, Gemeinhart's Coyote Sunrise, Goebel's Alpaca My Bags, Cavanaugh's When I Hit the Road, O'Shaughnessy, Kate. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane and Acampora's How to Avoid Extinction

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