St. Martin’s Press|March 26, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-312-64333-1
Cassie Blake seems to lead a charmed life as the heiress to Fenton’s, San Francisco’s most exclusive department store. But when she discovers her husband, Aidan a handsome UC Berkeley professor, has had an affair with a student, she flees to the comfort of her best friend Alexis’s Presidio Heights mansion, where she wonders if she should give their marriage one more chance.
Whether or not she can forgive Aidan is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie’s mother is eager to have her oversee the opening of Fenton’s new Food Emporium, which Fenton’s hopes will become San Francisco’s hottest gourmet shopping destination. Cassie’s true passion has always been food, not fashion, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton’s fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her….
Cassie Blake, heiress to Fenton’s Department store in San Francisco, and her best friend, Alexis, were standing at the jewellery counter admiring a new line of necklaces, pendants, and rings. A young girl approached and said she needed to make a return because she needed the money. She was a student at UC Berkeley and money was tight for her. Cassie asked the young student if she had a receipt but the girl said no, that it was a gift and maybe Cassie would have the credit card receipt on file. The girl said: “The name was Blake, Aidan Blake.” Cassie was a bit stunned and replied: “Excuse me.” The student repeated: “Aidan Blake, Professor Aidan Blake actually…” Aidan Blake was Cassie’s husband! Was he having an affair with a student or did he just purchase jewellery for all his female students for Christmas? Alexis tried to calm, Cassie down and suggested they go up to her mother’s office where they could talk. Alexis reminded Cassie that she and Aidan had been married for almost ten years, so there had to be a reasonable explanation.
After some talking and bantering back and forth, Alexis finally convinced Cassie to take the gift box home, pour a glass of Chardonnay, show Aidan the box, and ask him where it came from. Cassie went down to the parking garage and headed home.
When Cassie arrived home, Aidan was just finishing up his shower and then came into the kitchen. After exchanging hello’s, Cassie tossed the Fenton’s gift box on the kitchen counter and related the story of the young student who had showed up at the store with it today. Aidan didn’t deny he had given the gift to the twenty-one-year-old Molly Payne and the story he gave Cassie seemed perfectly plausible. They cooked dinner and then spent the evening together cuddled up on the sofa listening to the Beatles.
Cassie has a lot to keep herself busy these days. Her mother wants to open a food emporium on the basement floor of the department store. This wouldn’t be just any old food place, but one that was not only designed and decorated to the nines, but one that sold fresh, locally grown and organic produce, cheese, bread, and wines. Her mother wanted to attract a younger clientele and had hired an architect who specializes in the interior design of restuarants. The restaurant would even have a counter where you could sample the produce, and perhaps even have a chef who would demonstrate various recipes using different vegetables. Cassie’s mother wants her to run and be in charge of this new food emporium, but this would mean Cassie would have to give up volunteering at the Edible Schoolyard and that is something Cassie doesn’t want to do.
While grocery shopping, Cassie ran into Molly Payne who recognized, Cassie right away. She thanked her for giving her the money when she returned the pendant to the store and said she’d purchased a micro-wave with the money. Molly then launched into this big spiel about growing up in Oregon and how her parents weren’t happy she’d come to school at UC Berkeley. Molly then said the professors were all so nice and that she’d made muffins for her ethics professor, Aidan Blake, and bought a red lacy bra and panties to go along with the muffins. Cassie was just about sick and left her grocery cart and headed for her car. Once home she sat in the dark waiting for, Aidan. When he arrived home, Cassie confronted him about the muffins and the red bra and panties. Aidan admitted to having sex with Molly once at her apartment. Cassie gathered her coat and said she was leaving, she was going to stay with Alexis for a while until she figured out if she still had a husband or not.
Cassie is so hurt by this devastating news and my heart just ached for her. I wanted to put my arms around her and hug her. Feeling betrayed is such an unpleasant emotion to endure.
Does Cassie go back to Aidan or does she strike out on her own? You’ll just have to read the book to find out. And, what about the food emporium? Does Cassie give up her volunteer job, a place and job she loves with all her heart?
Market Street was well-written and the character development was exemplary. The close relationship between Cassie and Alexis is rare. They had been friends since grade school and could talk about anything and everything together, from sex to food to buying new cars. The storyline kept me turning page after page after page. Anita Hughes is a gifted and talented storyteller with an uncanny ability to find the true emotions in all of us.
The beautifully described foods and fashions were so well depicted that I could picture in my mind’s eye exactly what everything looked like. Market Street was a scrumptiously delicious novel in more ways than one and gets a huge thumbs up from me. Thank you Ms. Hughes for a sweet, tender, and emotional read!