Finding Betty Crocker (2005) Marks never quite settles on a comfortable tone — sincerity or kitsch? — for her "biography" of the famed fictional spokeswoman for Gold Medal Flour… 2005-04-06 Historical Fiction Nonfiction Simon & Schuster
Book Review

Finding Betty Crocker (2005)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Apr 06, 2005; Writer: Susan Marks; Genres: Historical Fiction, Nonfiction; Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Marks never quite settles on a comfortable tone — sincerity or kitsch? — for her ''biography'' of the famed fictional spokeswoman for Gold Medal Flour — Finding Betty Crocker. (Twenty-four years after her ''birth'' in 1921, Betty Crocker was named the second-most-popular woman in America after Eleanor Roosevelt for her contributions to domestic tranquillity and efficient home-making.) And sometimes Marks' transitional commentary sits like a bread loaf missing yeast. (''Some listeners clustered around the proverbial back fence to exchange gossip. . . .'') But the heartfelt letters Marks has collected, written with good manners by real people asking for real help and receiving it from the General Mills staff representing Ms. Crocker, are extraordinary and moving — a testament to trust well placed.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints