True Con­fec­tions

Katharine Weber

  • Review
By – September 26, 2011

In this nov­el, Alice Tat­nall Ziplin­sky recounts in clever, wit­ty detail her life to date as the non-Jew­ish daugh­ter-in-law of the Zip’s Can­dies fam­i­ly and her rocky even­tu­al rise to lead­er­ship in their pros­per­ous New Haven business.

We learn of her child­hood and ado­les­cence, employ­ment at Zip’s, mar­riage to the remain­ing Ziplin­sky son, her warm, nur­tur­ing rela­tion­ship with her father-in-law, and irri­tat­ing tri­als with the rest of the fam­i­ly. Woven smooth­ly into Alice’s per­son­al quest for recog­ni­tion is the saga of the ear­ly Ziplin­sky broth­ers’ jour­ney from turn-of-the cen­tu­ry Hun­gary in search of free­dom and suc­cess. The sto­ry includes an account of the Third Reich’s unre­al­ized plan for Euro­pean Jews on the island of Mada­gas­car. All this is con­nect­ed to the his­to­ry of the can­dy busi­ness in Amer­i­ca. Through Alice, we also get a some­timeswacky take on all things social, envi­ron­men­tal, and polit­i­cal right up to the present.

I know this sounds immod­est,” says Alice, but after all these years at Zip’s, I have per­fect pitch for the can­dy busi­ness.” Katharine Weber’s Alice has per­fect pitch in the sto­ry­telling depart­ment as well. Reli­able or not, her one-sided sto­ry is con­vinc­ing and enter­tain­ing. True Con­fec­tions is tru­ly as rich as choco­late candy.

Pen­ny Metsch, MLS, for­mer­ly a school librar­i­an on Long Island and in New York City, now focus­es on ear­ly lit­er­a­cy pro­grams in Hobo­ken, NJ.

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