Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: How to Bake a Perfect Life

Book Details:
Title: How to Bake a Perfect Life
Author: Barbara O'Neal
2011, Bantam
ISBN: 978-0-553-38677-6
Genre: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Fiction

Book Summary:
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona's bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She's one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother's rambling Victorian and everything she's worked so hard to  build.

When Ramona's soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia's thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she's being dumped again - this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona calls upon a special set of tools - patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe - when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

My Review:
Okay... I really think the summary tells you most of what you need to know.

Characters: Ramona is wonderful. She has her Book of Breads that she started when she was fifteen and some of the recipes are shared within the chapters of the book (my mom made a couple of them... they're good). Sophia and Katie and book great additions to the story. Sophia is sitting, pregnant, at the bedside of her wounded husband. And Katie is stuck at Ramona's house with her dog Merlin. Jonah is Ramona's man from her past and they have great chemistry throughout the whole book.... I loved him instantly.

Plot: There are a lot of different things going on in this book. I love that there is a look at the life of military families and what they endure while serving our country. There is the story of Ramona when she was fifteen and got herself pregnant and sent away to live with her aunts, along with Katie who is also fifteen and trying to find her place in the world. And then there is Ramona today - divorced, small business owner and on the outs with most of her family members.....

This is a nice book. A good read. It wasn't too fast-paced... took me a little longer than I expected to get through it, but it was good.

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