“The Fruitcake Special” is written by Frank Brennan. Frank Brennan and his wife wrote novels together and many of their novels were published by Mills and Boon, a publishing house that publishes romance novels.

Summary

Anna, a chemist who works at the Amos cosmetics factory inNew Jersey,USAis trying to discover a new perfume. One day she mixes a slice of the fruitcake given by her Aunt Mimi into a mixture of flowers. It smells wonderful so she tried it on her. Not too long, her boss, David Amos who is a handsome English guy never saying nice thing to ordinary girl like her asked her to have a dinner with him. That would be because of fruitcake. Anna realises now that the perfume is responsible for his strange behaviour. At dinner, there was a competition between David Amos and the waiter for her attention. The night ended with both men hitting each other and Sabina (David’s girlfriend) punching David. Anna later found out more about the fruitcake from her Aunt Mimi and realized that it was made by an old woman who had just passed away. Later David apologized and offered Anna a raise as compensation. Anna feels insulted and quit her job. Then, the pizza man appears at her door with pizza and a box of flowers. He is now the owner of his pizza company. Anna decides to go out with him.

Plot

  • Anna is a chemist at Amos Cosmetics factory. She creates a special fruitcake perfume. She calls her perfume ‘the fruitcake special’. Anna applies the perfume without realizing that whoever uses the perfume will attract any man to fall in love with her.
  • Her boss, David Amos who has never showed any interest in her invites her to dinner that night just after walking past her.
  • At home, Anna’s mother and her Aunt Mimi are discussing her marriage. They were talking about Amstrong but Anna was not interested.
  • At dinner, David treated Anna as usual- as just an employee. She goes to the washroom and applies the perfume. As she walks past a waiter, the waiter fell in love with her. David too showed the same reaction. Anna then realizes that it is all due to the ‘fruitcake special’. Sabina, David’s girlfriend became furious with David’s behaviour. The waiter starts to sing for Anna and soon after there was a confusion. Sabina punches David and then David and the waiter fought with each other.
  • Anna is eager to find out about the fruitcake. She visits her Aunt Mimi who tells her that the cake was made by an old lady who used special ingredients. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find the old woman as she has passed away recently.
  • When Anna returns to work, David was there with Sabina. She meets Sabina with Mr. Amos in his office and Sabina insults her. Sabina tells Anna that David will give Anna a sum of money to compensate for his behaviour.  In anger, Anna splashes the perfume on Sabina. She then resigns from the company and finds a new job in the factory that produces IntrigueAnna feels insulted and quit her job.
  • At home, Armstrong visits her wit pizza and flowers. He told her he had fallen in love with her since her first delivered pizza to her house. Now that he has his own pizza company, he is ready to go out with her. Anna accepts Armstrong.

Setting

Time: The events happened within a week.

Place: Amos CosmeticsFactory,New Jersey,USA.

         : Anna’s home.

         : A French restaurant ( dinner between Anna and her boss)

         : Aunt Mimi’s apartment (Anna visited her Aunt Mimi)

Characters

The main character:

Anna- She is 27-year old simple looking chemist. She works at Amos Cosmetics factory. She is rather sensible. She realizes that her boss would not be attracted to a simple girl like her.

The minor characters:

David Amos- He is a shrewd businessman. He is an English man who is rich and handsome. He is the owner of Amos Cosmetics Factory, a factory that manufactures and sells perfumes. He has been going out with beautiful young models. However, his current girlfriend is Sabina.

Anna’s mother- She is rather caring and is very eager to find a groom for Anna. She recommends Armstrong, the pizza man as she feels he has ‘nice eyes’.

Aunt Mimi- She is a helpful and caring person. She is also very keen to find Anna a nice husband. She buys a special fruitcake for Anna.

The Waiter- He works at a French restaurant. He is attracted to Anna when she dapped the fruitcake perfume and competes with Amos for her attention.

Sabina- She is the current girlfriend of David Amos. She is young and pretty. She works as a model. She gets angry when David pays attention to Anna.

Armstrong- He is a very hardworking man. He delivers pizzas and fell in love with Anna. Soon, he becomes the owner of a pizza company. He is returns to ask Anna out.

Language and Style

The story uses the first person “I” and it is told from Anna’s point of view. The language is simple and clear. Through Anna’s description, the readers get the insight into the feelings of the characters. It uses simple vocabulary; short dialogues; lots of exclamation marks (!); unfinished sentences (…); there is a use of italics to show emphasis and unexpected surprise.

Simile

The story has several interesting and funny similes:

he looked like a dog who had just found a bone;

mouths wide open like a couple of fish.

Why did everybody sound like bad movies tonight?

Imagery

The fruitcake ingredient makes the sophisticated perfume smell like a glorious mix of all natural, delicious, inviting and warm smells (like fresh bread and flowers and sunshine all mixed together).

Themes

The effects of a perfume-  The fragrance of a perfume has a very strong appeal. Men are attracted to ladies who are wearing it. Thus, it is popular amongst women.

Keeping one’s dignity- Anna rejects both David Amos and the waiter as they are not genuinely concerned about her. She has integrity and has pride in her own worth. She resigned from her career at Amos Cosmetics because she did not like the way her employer, David Amos treated her.

 

Moral Values

  • Appreciate ourselves for who we are and not depend on the supernatural- The special ingredient in the fruitcake that was mixed in the perfume did not bring happiness to Anna because she attracted the wrong type of men.

 

  • We should appreciate true love- Armstrong who has fallen in love with Anna when he was only a pizza delivery man, withholds his declaration of love until he is successful. Although Anna did not like Armstrong at first, she realizes that he truly loves her and would be a suitable life partner.

 

  • Hard work is the key to success- Anna works very hard. She spends long hours at her working place. This is the reason why her boss wanted her to continue working for him. Armstrong worked very hard to become successful. Finally he became the owner of a pizza company. He asked Anna out on a date when he had achieved his goal.

 

  • We must not compromise our dignity- Anna has integrity and has pride in her own worth. She walked out of her job when she was insulted with the boss’ offer.
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