October 20, 2014

Book Club

How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal

I will admit, I judged this book by it's cover. I did not pick October's book, nor was I that interested in actually reading it. I (wrongly) assumed it would be a self-help book that made me gag. The synopsis on the back of the book didn't do it any favors, either. Too many cliche's.

"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 in 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 been dumped again -- and 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."

Oh my...I literally laughed out loud at the cheesy synopsis and nearly left it at the library. Except that I was already in the car on the way home so I figured I might as well give it a shot. So glad I wasn't a book snob.  

While simple and fun to read, this book also had deeper moments that made me put it down and think. I felt like part of the Gallagher family, I felt like I was in Colorado with Ramona in the park listening to classical music. I could hear Jonah playing his guitar. I could feel the breeze blowing in from the open window upstairs. The author has such a way with her writing that I was truly immersed into the story. There are a few lines that had me equally as embarrassed as the back cover, but I was eager to see where the story would end up. Fairly predictable with the happily ever after, but not without its tumultuous plot twists. All in all, it was a refreshing book that we all thoroughly enjoyed. 

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