Reading, cooking…reading about a baking contest who could ask for more? I really enjoyed this book for many reasons besides the fact that I, like the characters, enjoy baking and am a fan of the British baking show that this story’s plot is loosely based upon.
The characters seemed so real because they were flawed in their own special way. Like all of us they had their insecurities. They also had their everyday problems that I think most of us can relate to in one way or another.
I also loved the mini-story about Kathleen Eaden who owned a chain of supermarkets and wrote the classic cookbook The Art of Baking. This story focuses on the contest to find the next Mrs. Eaden. While the contestants think she was perfect and had the perfect life, her own story revealed something very different.
Eventually the contest’s lives and Kathleen’s are almost identical. By the end of the book they’ve all realized there’s no such thing as perfection and striving for it brings strife and heartache.
If you’re a baker yourself you will love the descriptions of all things pies, cakes, cookies etc. in this book. Ms. Vaughan did a wonderful job telling you about the ingredients and I found myself actually visualizing all the goodies that the contests made. And yes, it makes you either hungry or forces you to go bake something for yourself.
406 pages might seem like a long book but as the story progresses you become so immersed in the character’s lives that you find yourself reading more on each sitting.
This was a book that I was almost sad to finish reading and if you enjoy women’s fiction then I’d recommend adding this one to your summer reading list.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.