Author, Nancy Spiller at Chaucer's Bookstore

Come join author Nancy Spiller as she signs her newest book, Compromise Cake.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 7 p.m.

Where: Chaucer's Books, 3321 State St., Santa Barbara

Cost: Free

Age limit: All ages

Categories: Special Events


This universal mother and daughter story explores the concepts of compromise and childhood.

When Nancy Spiller discovered her late mothers teaching credential buried in the midst of a long abandoned recipe box, she felt compelled to investigate the lingering mysteries of this troubled woman. Marguerite Lenore Soult had taught for only one year before marrying, having four children and a life surrendered to mental illness, divorce and social withdrawal.

Spiller realized that she had probably been her mothers best and only student in the kitchen they had shared. Compromise Cake explores Spillers life in the suburbs of Northern California in the 1960s, learning to cook by her challenging mothers side, as remembered through the recipe boxs mid-century and heirloom offerings. It touches on lineage, and industrial changes; it is a meditation on men, women, marriage, community and the nature of compromise. What emerges is a portrait of a woman whose own desires for a career were tragically stifled by the conventional pressures to be a wife and mother, but found expression through her daughter, an author, artist and teacher.

This is a memoir that weds Spillers story to the universal of all mothers and daughters, and what, as they say, is baked into the cake.

Nancy Spiller is a writer and artist living in Los Angeles. A fourth generation Californian and native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she was a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Herald Examiner and editor at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times,, Cooking Light, and Town & Country. She is the author of Entertaining Disasters: A Novel (With Recipes) and teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Phone: 805-682-6787

Event posted Oct. 7, 2013
Last updated Oct. 29, 2013


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Jennifer Koh, Violin, Part III

Intrepid violinist Jennifer Koh’s adventurous exploration of Bach’s influence on ... Read More