I received a review copy
There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There’s Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife’s death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it’s like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn’t slip.
As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants’ problems. For they will learn–as as Mrs. Eaden did before them–that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it’s very much harder in life.
This was a book that had me invested from the very beginning. I absolutely love books that flip between past and present. While we only got little clips from Kathleen Eaden on her past, they were full of knowledge and really tied the story together. Each competitor has their own unique story going on, and because this book was pretty thick (I received a hard cover) I knew from the beginning that we get pretty in depth with them, which was the case. Though I can’t cook or bake myself I love reading foodie books, and delighted in the recipes given and the thorough baking guide throughout the way. Sometimes I did tend to mix up the characters since we were following so many, but I truly enjoyed this book as a whole. Perfect for a rainy spring day!