There are times when a frazzled mom can’t find any humor in anything. Montclair author Jillian Green DiGiacomo, though, has done exactly that in her first novel, “Codename Cupcake.” She will be appearing at Watchung Booksellers on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.
“Cupcake” is a witty spoof of spy thrillers. Suburban mom Molly Peterson goes into New York City to celebrate a moment of freedom on her daughter’s first day of preschool. However, when she becomes a witness to a crime in progress, she thwarts the perpetrator – and becomes a news sensation in the process.
From there, Molly is recruited into a “super secret organization” in the federal government. Seems her daughter’s school is mysteriously getting chillier by the day. To her horror, the situation requires her to infiltrate the PTA – and join every single committee.
DiGiacomo says the book came from her own experience. “It’s absolutely based on the emotion and the frustration, and the best of intentions in and around motherhood and parenting and PTA,” she said. “But when I think about books that I’ve read, they’re always about the ingénue or the single woman whose friends are all married or the old lady looking back on her life. But where was this person in the trenches with the kids?
“When I started writing that story, it was just a lot of complaining and whining, and she was just going to turn into this Oprah type, a phenomenon.”
Instead, Molly is zapped by an “enhancement ray” which gives her superhuman domestic skills – such as making super-awesome cupcakes while uncovering secret spy capers.
“Of course I want to be a supermom,” DiGiacomo admitted. “You want to be absolutely everything, and to be recruited for your talents, and to be able to get that recognition that you don’t get at home from your kids. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone say, ‘Truly you make the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off’ and to get an award for that – and a bonus?”
DiGiacomo said that the moral of the story is that parents should cut themselves some slack. “I don’t think anybody can do everything,” she said. “You can’t have a day where you have the home-cooked meal and you’re playing Monopoly with your kids and you’ve read them a book for two hours. But over the course of a lifetime you experience a full life.”
To DiGiacomo, the answer has nothing to do with enhancement rays or super secret organizations – just hard work and dedication. “All parents are superheroes,” she said. “Period.”
November 10, 2015 Last updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 5:18 PM