The Art of Baking Blind

The Art of Baking Blind

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2015
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250059406
1250059402
Branch Call Number: FIC VAUGHAN
Characteristics: 406 pages ;,25 cm

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1_Great_Book
Aug 18, 2015

Book starts off with a quote that sums it up: things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

Although book centers on a baking competition, there is little description of the actual baking. Characters are underdeveloped. Some events are over described and others barely outlined.
Very little interaction between the contestants beyond the relationships the author wishes to define, and sometimes badly at that. Gaps between what happens outside of and during competition sessions. The technique of switching chapters by character does not work to hold the baking competition theme together. All we hear is Tools Down, with no information on the competition itself.
The only person I was interested in was Kathleen's history. And the part about the stolen letter that revealed important information to the plot was just unconceivable. Totally first time author with mediocre results.

Better choices: Any Jenny Colgan baking novel, The Bakeoff by Beth Kendrick and How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal.

t
TheresaAJ
May 26, 2015

This novel was inspired by the Great British Baking Show. Eaden's Supermarkets is looking for a new Mrs. Eaden to promote the chain. The original Mrs. Eaden published the Art of Baking in 1966 and retired from public life in 1967. Now five contestants, Jenny, Karen, Claire, Vicki, and Mike, are vying for the role. Each has a different life experience which adds spice to the novel. This book, fast-moving with well-drawn characters, leaves me wanting a sequel to see what happens to everyone after the competition is over. You also learn a lot about traditional English goodies which sound very appealing even if they aren't to my personal taste.

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