“A Tangle of Knots” by Lisa Graff
A written review by Jenny
This book is a puzzle/story that is revealed as you read the book. Eleven year old Cadie is an orphan and lives in Poughkeepsie, NY in a world where everyone has a ‘talent’. Cadie innately knows the perfect flavor of cake for a person.
Cadie’s adventures start when she is adopted and goes to live in a boarding house over a luggage emporium. She is unknowingly connected to every person that stays there: a family with three spirited kids, one whose talent is spitting exactly where he wants, a woman who has lost the ability to speak, a loner and a very grouchy owner. A man in a gray suit makes several appearances and “knows more about the world than he’s letting on.”
Younger readers will need to read carefully to stay on top of the multiple viewpoints. I found this a thoroughly delightful read, crying and laughing along with the escapades of the well developed and loveable characters. The action moves along quickly as Graff knits the threads of the lives of each character into a satisfying whole. Each chapter begins with a cake recipe relating to the character the chapter is about. The author has baked these cakes and recipes are also on her website, http://www.lisagraff.com/. (One is called Zane’s Garlic Cake?) And, oh–a turquoise suitcase plays and important role in this book.