Sophia Jones is a chocolatier with her own shop and with a decidedly cynical view of life. Tragedy in her past has affected her relationships and her outlook in many ways, leaving her doubtful that lasting happiness can exist. After her fiancee abandons her days before their wedding, she creates “misfortune” cookies–covered in bittersweet chocolate with hand-written misfortunes inside (You will soon fall in love. Caution: When people fall, something usually breaks). Her fiancee Garrett walks back into her life a year later, hoping to explain his behavior. Believing lasting happiness does not exist, she asks him to find 100 examples of true happiness before she will discuss the past with him. He places an ad in the newspaper, and their lives are changed in unexpected ways.
More than a romantic story, Sweet Misfortune provokes reflection about the nature of happiness, how the past can affect our lives and how perceptions we have of events can differ from others experiencing the same event.
Milne has another title in Manhattan Public Library’s collection–The Paper Bag Christmas.