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.