Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery 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 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 façade shouldn't slip. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest choux bun seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn - as Mrs Eaden did before them - that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

With the Great British Bake Off returning to our screens on Wednesday it couldn't be a more appropriate time to finally share my review on this fabulous book.

The book follows five hopeful bakers, Jenny, Claire, Mike, Vicki and Karen who all join in the local baking competition to become the New Mrs Eaden - the famous cookery book author of 'The Art of Baking' from the 1960s. Each of them have their own personal reasons for taking part in the challenge (which i must say a few really pulled on my heart strings). I really enjoyed following their individual stories throughout the book. During the competition secrets are revealed and friendships are formed,  they each learn more about themselves than they do about the world of baking.

The book is divided into the baking categories of the competition - biscuits, cakes etc. Not only did you follow each character through each of these sections but the book also flashed back to Kathleen Eaden and her life. It was a brilliant structure and added to how easy the book was to read (and adding to how hard it was to put down!)

Sarah's book was exactly what I look for when wanting a good read - great storyline, inspirational characters and a happy ending. Beware though -don't read if you are already craving cake!

I give it 10/10 a Novel Cafe cupcake - don't miss out!

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