Book review of “Market Street”
“Market Street” by Anita Hughes
From Anita Hughes, author of Monarch Beach, comes Market Street, a delicious story of a department store heiress, her messy marriage, and her passion for food
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…
**THIS FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**
Still reeling with joy after reading “Monarch Beach” by Anita Hughes, her debut novel, I was asked to read and review “Market Street.” As a huge fan of the author I accepted the offer and was given an early NetGalley copy.
“Market Street” began as an easy read, with action starting right away. I wanted to know if Cassie would take the job at the emporium, but found myself more curious if she would take her cheating husband. The way he cheated, their relationship and the way he seemed to act as is he hadn’t done anything wrong, piqued my interest. While there was a bit of name and brand dropping, I understood it because that’s what defined the characters were and what I expected from the book. Up until the end of the first quarter, my attention was held.
I liked how Cassie’s friend, Alexis, allow her to stay with her, but it seemed like she overstayed her welcome, and not just because Alexis’s husband was away on business, (and I often wondered if he was cheating like Aidan). Cassie is a thirty-two year old woman, but staying with her friend for as long as she did kind of threw me off. I also didn’t understand their dialogue. One would say something, then the other would say something completely random, but maybe that was the way the characters have always talked with each other. In the end, I felt that Alexis took over the part of the main character. I also found it odd that she’s the one who took it upon herself to shut the chapter on Cassie and Aidan’s marriage by sending him a box of lingerie.
I tried to like Cassie’s character — I really did, but there were times that I was so over her. She seemed to run away from her issues, especially her husband’s infidelity and not face the issues. I wanted her to make up her mind, was she in the marriage or was she out of it? At times I felt sorry for Aidan (the cheater) because Cassie seemed to care too much about her emporium (which I’m glad she took a stand and did for herself) and what her mother thinks to work on and fight for her marriage. Often, Cassie was daydreaming about wanting to be watching a movie or wrapped up in Aidan’s arms in their bed, which annoyed me because if she really wanted to, she could. As for Aidan, I didn’t like him. He was very arrogant, but maybe he was supposed to be that way.
At the end I though, I liked how Cassie appeared to be more grown-up and adjusts her priorities, making her relationship with James at the top of the list. I just wonder why she didn’t do this with her marriage, and it would have been nice to for the reader to “see” some kind of closure between Cassie and Aidan.
While I anticipated “Market Street” to be another brilliant read by Anita Hughes, I thought it was only okay. I found there to be a little too much name dropping of designers that I just didn’t care about, which seemed like page fillers. And while I have stayed at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach (which is mentioned) and understand high-class society, I didn’t care about what Cassie, Alexis, Aidan or James wore. What interested me more was the story, not what they were modeling.
I recommend “Market Street” to anyone who is into fashion or a fan of Anita Hughes because she’s a brilliant writer who creates memorable and delightful stories, but this book just wasn’t on that resonated with me.
I give this book 3 stars!