Not unlike with Tuesdays at the Castle, there was a kernel of something special here. In that case, it was the castle itself; in this case, it’s the magical recipes Rosemary Bliss’s parents make for the townspeople. Similar to Rose, I was in awe when I read about her mother folding lightning into one of her baked goods, all in order to save a young boy who’d been struck by lightning. All the different magical recipes were so cute and clever I was sad there had to be a story to accompany them.
Especially one that breaks so little new ground when you remove said recipes from the equation. Rose, our main character, is pretty typical in her all-consuming desire to feel special and pretty. And her counterpart, the story’s antagonist Lily, also falls neatly into a type of her own, hers being the too-good-to-be-true outsider that, by story’s end, will be revealed to be an impostor of some sort.
Anyone, except maybe the middle-grade audience Littlewood wrote Bliss for, can see how things will play out when Rose’s parents, who’d never let Rose make any magic recipes, leave and give her the key to the place their special cookbook is hidden. It only became an even more foregone conclusion when Lily showed up at their doorstep and buttered Rose and her siblings up.
Clearly, this book wasn’t written for the likes of me. Still, I’d like to think its intended audience is discerning enough to realize how predictable it all is.