Title: The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Author: Louise Miller
Publication: Viking, Hardcover, 2016
Audience: Understood Betsy for grown-ups! Guthrie, Vermont also reminded me of Stars Hollow, although I believe that is supposed to be Washington, Connecticut. Readers who enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Elinor Lipman should appreciate this debut novel as well.
My Impressions: First of all, I loved the descriptions of food, although it is always a mistake to read a book about food when you haven’t had time to go to the grocery store for days - I was almost ready to gnaw on the book. Second, I loved the quirky, minor characters, including Alfred the chef (I enjoyed how at first they shared the kitchen and communicated without meeting; they communicated beautifully when collaborating as well); Dotty, who welcomes Livvy to family gatherings; Tom who delivers milk and devours Livvy’s cooking; and Margaret, whose gruff demeanor hides the hurt caused by an unrelenting Mean Girl. Finally, as a city girl myself I am always fascinated, if disbelieving, of young women who find fulfillment in rural communities. It is possible that Livvy’s transformation happened too quickly – also, in Boston Livvy wasn’t making enough money to pay her rent so how is that she could be solvent as a pastry chef in Vermont? Admittedly, she was living rent free in a cottage on the Inn’s premises.
The obstacles between Livvy and Martin seemed contrived, making the last 30% of the book less interesting and satisfying. Either Martin’s motivation was unconvincing or his character was not very likeable, I couldn’t decide which. However, his parents were so sweet they compensated for his unreliability. I was disappointed with Livvy for not valuing her friend Hannah more. Hannah is loyal in a way few friends are when the BFF and the husband don’t get along.
eather Vogel Frederick: Mother-Daughter Book Camp.
Source: I learned about this book when I saw it listed on my library website as an “in demand” new release. I was convinced when I saw it had been edited by my former colleague, Pam Dorman, and I promptly put it on reserve. Later, I learned that Miller is a local author which made the book even more enjoyable. I am enjoying her Instagram posts as well. Recommended!