Sunday, January 8, 2012


‎1.Author : Frank Brennan

2. ABOUT THE AUTHOR An Australian writer, originally a businessman. Started to write fiction in 1983. Died in 1995. Wrote with his wife, Wendy Brennan under the pseudonym ‘Emma Darcy’. As a team, they wrote more than 45 romance novels.

3. THE SYNOPSIS The Fruitcake Special is an amusing story about Anna, a chemist, who creates a perfume that has an extraordinary effect on men. Her boss, David Amos, is instantly smitten with her the minute he smells the perfume on Anna. Chaos ensues when Anna and David dine together as Anna also becomes the object of the waiter’s affection. Anna asks her Aunt Mimi for more information about the fruitcake before coming to a dead end. Guided by his jealous girlfriend Sabina, David offers a money-based apology to Anna, who decides to leave for a rival company. Anna’s love life develops together with her career as she is wooed by Armstrong, her local pizza delivery man, who is now a pizza owner.


  • Amos Cosmetics, New Jersey 
  • Anna’s home 
  • French restaurant 
  • Aunt Mimi’s house SOCIAL SETTING Middle-class urbanites TIME 20 th century

  • Anna 
  • David Amos Aunt Mimi MINOR CHARACTERS 
  • Momma 
  • Armstrong
  • Sabina 
  • The Waiter 

  • Physical appearance versus true love 
  • importance of integrity and self-respect MESSAGE Be realistic in our expectations Always look beyond physical appearances . 

  •  rationality and moral courage 
  • diligence and perseverance

5. CHARACTER S THE FRUITCAKE SPECIAL SETTING THEME S MORAL VALUES Inner beauty vs outer beauty True love can do wonders Determination Honesty Courage Acceptance Rationality Lesson Learnt Try out new ways and experiment Maintain dignity when being insulted New does not mean better Some secrets are better left buried. Nobody is perfect. ANNA DAVID AMOS AUNT MIMI MOMMA ARMSTRONG SABINA THE WAITER Aunt Mimi’s apartment Anna’s home Amos Cosmetics factory The French Restaurant


Anna experiments by adding a slice of fruitcake to a mix of flowers to create a new perfume .
5Armstrong, the owner of ‘Armstrong’s Peachy Pizzas’, presents Anna with flowers and pizza and tells her that he had fallen in love with her from the very first time he delivered pizza to her.
 Anna visits Aunt Mimi and discovers that the fruitcake was brought from an old lady who had put in a special ingredient. Unfortunately the woman is now dead and so is the secret.
 Mr Amos is attracted to Anna who is using the perfume and invites her to dinner
 The Fruitcake Special attracts both Mr Amos and the waiter. A fight breaks out between David, Sabina and the waiter.

7. Anna David Amos Aunt Mimi Sabina Waiter Momma THE CHARACTERS Armstrong


9. ANNA’S Character Traits Evidence from text Practical * thinks her new invention smells nice but nothing more (p.32) * uses the same handbag she does for work on her date with David (p.38) Sensible Knows she is an ordinary-looking girl and is not actually David’s type (p.34) Reminds the waiter to serve the lobster instead of being silly (p.43) Realizes the effect of the perfume on the waiter and ensures she does not walk by other men (p.44) Innovative Tries to concoct new perfumes (p.31) Intelligent Realizes that the fruitcake perfume had an effect on her boss (p.41)

10. ANNA’S Character Traits Evidence from text Observant Notices that her boss prefers pretty young models (p.32) Observes that men say one thing but mean another Curious Wants to know why David suddenly finds her attractive (p.38) Determined Anna was determined to design good perfumes When she knew the effect of ‘ the fruitcake special’ on men , she stayed at home to find out the truth about the fruitcake given by Aunt Mimi. Integrity Anna portrayed integrity when she walked out of her job She did this when she was insulted by her boss’ humiliating offer of compensation.

‎11. DAVID AMOS Weak Impulsive Superficial Not employee-friendly

12. DAVID AMOS’S Character Traits EVIDENCE FROM TEXT WEAK Is controlled by Sabina and so offers Anna money rather than apologizing properly SUPERFICIAL Prefers the company of beautiful young models (p.34) Looks at Anna’s body instead of her face when she returns to the table (p.41) IMPULSIVE Is flabbergasted when the waiter starts singing very loudly, so he hit the waiter. Feebly explains to Anna that they would not be a good match, unlike him and Sabina (p.56) NOT EMPLOYEE-FRIENDLY Anna is afraid to tell him how she made the new perfume as he might have laughed at her (p.32) David only speaks to his employees when he has complaints (p.34)


14. AUNT MIMI’S Character Traits Evidence from text WARM Welcomes Anna’s visit even though she may have other interests at heart (p.48) GENEROUS Always brings gifts when she visit (p.37) GOOD-HEARTED Being very concerned for Anna’s future, she wants to find a nice husband for Anna. OBSERVANT Tells Anna about her market experience and the people she met at the funeral (p.52) CURIOUS Is suspicious about Anna’s sudden interest in baking. (p.49)

15. MOMMA Anna’s mother Loving and caring- still packs meals for Anna Gets on well with Aunt Mimi SABINA The latest girlfriend of David Amos Beautiful Snooty Vain, Dominant, confident, well-spoken Condescending but is actually jealous that David asked Anna out Hot-headed- Hits David hard in the face when he proclaims love for Anna. ARMSTRONG The pizza delivery man Fell in love with Anna at first sight Hardworking-saved hard and finally bought over the pizza company he worked for Was determined to improve his social and economic status before asking Anna out THE WAITER Like David Amos, was impulsive and effusive in his words and actions after inhaling the Fruitcake Special Bold – told Anna how he felt, and called her even though she was in the restaurant with David on a date .

16. Anna’s experiences with David and the waiter at the French restaurant illustrate the fragility of physical attraction or superficial love. Both the men are drawn to her not because of her own qualities but because of the ‘special’ perfume she is wearing. Fortunately Anna realizes that true love is not based on external appearances but on genuine liking and mutual self-respect. The man who truly loves her- Armstrong the pizza delivery man- declares his love for her only after he has achieved success in his life. PHYSICAL APPEARANCE VS TRUE LOVE

17. We should focus on a person’s character rather than their physical appearance. Anna is a person of integrity and practicality who is truly a credit to her company. Anna has dignity, pride and principles and looks for these qualities in a future husband. She finds them in Armstrong, a slightly short and balding man, but is a gem compared to the superficial David. IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRITY AND SELF-RESPECT

18. Rationality and moral courage When Anna creates the potent perfume by chance, she does not give it to her boss immediately as she is afraid of him making fun of her. She reveals her character and good sense of values in her actions, speech and thoughts ( mental self talk) Her outrage at David’s treatment of her and the scene in the office with Sabina present shows her sense of dignity, pride and moral courage. Anna’s character grows and in the end we see her willingness to accept Armstrong even though she may have higher expectations before .

19. Diligence and Perseverance Anna’s painstaking attitude and seriousness about her work are work ethics that should be followed. She is creative and intelligent in the work she is doing.

20. Determination Can be seen in Armstrong’s character He is determine to be successful before he can declare his love to Anna. From just ordinary pizza delivery man, he turns to be the owner of the pizza restaurant. All this displays his strong determination to be successful in life .

21. Honesty Momma is honest in terms of her feelings towards Armstrong. Even Armstrong is just a pizza delivery man, she does not look down on her. Aunt Mimi is honest in finding a husband for Anna. Anna is an honest employee. She does not reveal the secret

22. Armstrong accepts Anna for who she is. He also able to accept his own weaknesses and work to improve on them until he becomes successful. Anna accepts the fact to let the secret of the fruitcake special “lie buried” with the old woman who has died. She never pursues the matter although she was persistent in finding out the truth about it. Acceptance

23. Courage It takes courage to stand up to one’s beliefs. Anna is willing to walk out of her career in Amos Cosmetics after the event in the French restaurant. Armstrong is courageous in asking Anna out at last. He knows his status but never gives up .


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