A book about cake? I bought the book for the title alone.
As part of my de-cluttering exercise, I decided to donate some of my books to the library. But in keeping with my other tendencies, I wanted to reread some of the books before I gave them away. The plan is to read a book then leave it at the library the next day. It might take me a while to clear out a shelf but I figure it will be better than just keeping them indefinitely.
I Was Told There’d Be Cake is a book of essays by Sloane Crosley, about her life and funny experiences growing up in Westchester and her adult years in New York City. In it, she talks candidly and comically about volunteering at the museum, the dead-end job every young woman gets when they first come to the city, the pitfalls that can come from moving in the city. She explores what it means to be raised Jewish with Christian desires, questions what would become of her belongings if she died suddenly, reveals her health struggles, discusses the drama that comes along with being a bridesmaid.
But it is her first essay that hooks me. The Pony Problem. In it, she describes a fixation that she and I share. We talk about ponies as though we have always wanted one and the thing that you can do for us, the best thing you can do for us, is to fulfil our little heart’s desire and buy us a pony. I don’t know where it came from in my life, because I certainly didn’t want a pony when I was growing up in Jamaica, but as an adult woman living in New York, I have joked about wanting a pony so many times, that I’ve received a toy pony or a pony figurine or stuffed animal a few times. And I love it. But Sloane Crosley, in the first essay in her book, exposes her own tendency to jokingly mention her pony-longings on first dates and the collecton she has amassed that now embarrasses her, if only because it speaks to the person she is but wishes she wasn’t. In her own words, she says, “The ponies… are my nervous habit and my odd little secret…and the real proof that I tried to love and that people have tried to love me back.”
On Goodreads. I rated it 3 stars out of 5, because although her stories make me identify with her and smile at her sufferings, I would have preferred that the essays were more interconnected, that they were consistent in length and theme. But real life doesn’t do those things, right?
I’d recommend this book as a commute accompaniment and I hope someone reads this post and decides to give it a read themselves, even if only that there’s cake in the title.
Click my What I Read tab to read my other book reviews.