Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Title: The City Baker's Guide to Country Living
Author: Louise Miller
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publish Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.

Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.
With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.
But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better."

My Two Cents:

In "The City Baker's Guide to Country Living," pastry chef Livvy sets her career on fire... literally. After she is distracted by a love affair that goes awry, she causes a fire in the Boston restaurant and is terribly embarrassed she retreats to Vermont to find herself again. She gets a job at a small inn and plans to stick to herself, keep her head down, and try to put the pieces of her life back together. Life has a different plan and she is pulled into a tight knit community filled with secrets. 

This book is about so much more than just Livvy putting her life back together. It's about keeping secrets that will break you down and change you. It's about love and loss. Filled with a great cast of characters that kept me reading, this is a good book to just get lost in. At first, I was expecting a sort of comfort read with a familiar story: person ruins everything, person runs off, person finds themself again. It's a formula that works and is definitely present in this book but there is so much more there.

This book will definitely appeal to my fellow foodies. There is so much delicious food in this book and many of the best scenes take place while Livvy is cooking or while the characters are in the kitchen. The food was a treat in this book. Mixed in with the emotions of the book and good characters, this book is definitely a good selection for a comfort read to give you warm and fuzzies.

The writing of the book is good. The author did a great job of creating different voices for all of the characters, which helped me to really be pulled in the book. This was a good book!


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