Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in another week. My family does not go in for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Not one of us likes turkey!  Last year we had roast chicken, but this year I am making fried chicken with sweet potato fries and cherry pie.  The sweet potato fries are a nod towards the traditional Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.  If it was left up to me, we would be ordering Chinese (no cooking and no dishes)Does your family go the traditional route or are you unconventional?  

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living is a debut novel by Louise Miller.  Olivia “Livvy” Rawlings is walking  into the Jefferson Room during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Emerson Club carrying a flaming Baked Alaska when she spots her boss, Jameson Whitaker (and lover) across the room with his wife.  Livvy sees Jameson whisper to his wife and then the wife laughs while looking at Livvy.  Livvy is surprised and drops the dessert (which weighs 40 pounds).  Instantly a tablecloth catches fire (the one under the ice sculpture) and soon the curtains (after the ice sculpture melts and falls).  Of course, then the sprinklers kick in.  Livvy rushes home, packs a bag, loads her dog, Salty into the car and heads out of town. Livvy calls her friend, Hannah Doyle who lives in Guthrie, Vermont and asks to stay for a few days.  Hannah would like Livvy to stay permanently in Guthrie and arranges a job interview for Livvy.  The interview is with Margaret Hurley at the Sugar Maple Inn.  Margaret has Livvy bake an apple pie (she has an ulterior motive).  Livvy gets the job and a place to live.  Livvy moves into the old sugarhouse on the property.  Livvy soon finds out that Margaret needs Livvy to help her win the Coventry County Fair blue ribbon for an apple pie.  Margaret has not won since the death of her husband, Brian (Margaret has a secret).  Margaret needs Livvy to help regain her reputation as well as the inn’s.  Come join Livvy as she settles into life in small town Guthrie in The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living was an enjoyable novel.  It is easy to read, has engaging characters, interesting and beautiful small town, and a lovable dog.  There is the requisite romance in the book for Livvy (and a sex scene that was not needed).  The small town of Guthrie has the normal gossips, busy bodies, and rivalries.  I liked Livvy and her ever changing hair color (it was a new color every week).  I give The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living 4 out of 5 stars.  The story has a good pace, nice writing and a lovely ending.  There are also mouthwatering descriptions of the delicacies.  I did not give the novel five stars because of the predictability.  I enjoyed reading the book, but I knew how it would end.  There is one nice little surprise though (I do not want to give it away).  I look forward to reading more books by Louise Miller in the future.

I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my review.  I am currently reading Haunted is Always in Fashion by Rose Pressey.  I will review another book tomorrow (you can count on it). May all of you have a good night.   Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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