There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook 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 that 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 facade shouldn't slip.
As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry 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, in Sarah Vaughan's The Art of Baking Blind.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||963 KB|
About the Author
SARAH VAUGHAN studied English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. After eleven years working at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent, and political correspondent, she started freelancing. She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children. The Art of Baking Blind is her first novel.
Sarah Vaughan studied English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. After eleven years working at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent, and political correspondent, she started freelancing. She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children. The Art of Baking Blind is her first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan. It is a British novel about five people who have entered a competition to be the next Mrs. Eaden. Kathleen Eaden was the face of her husband’s chain of grocery stores called Eaden and Sons. Kathleen was an avid baker and wrote a column about baking for Home Magazine. Kathleen also wrote a cookbook called The Art of Baking. It was published in 1966 and is considered a classic. Kathleen Eaden had died the previous year and now the company needs a new Mrs. Eaden. The applicants need to be talented amateur bakers. Vicki Marchant is a wife to Greg, who is a lawyer, and the mother of three year old Alfie. Vicki stays home with her son and they enjoy baking together. Vicki, though, does not enjoy staying at home. Her son is a challenge, her husband is never home, and she gets lonely. Vicki trained to be a teacher. She feels that she is not living up to her potential (her mother’s words). Vicki and her mother are not close. Vicki is always trying to get praise or recognition from her mother. Vicki wonders if her mother will be proud of her if she wins the next Mrs. Eaden contest. Jennifer “Jenny” Briggs is fifty-two, married, has three grown children (who are at university), and she loves to bake. Jenny is having trouble adjusting to an empty nest. Baking and cooking is a comfort for her. Jenny is now overweight. Her husband, Nigel is on a fitness kick since his brother had a heart attack. He is always out running and now he is entering marathons. Nigel has started berating Jenny about her weight and all the baking. Jenny is entering the competition because she knows she is good at baking, but she is also bored. Jenny does not think that she will be accepted as an applicant because she is heavy, grey hair cut in a bob, and dresses plainly. Jenny is always doing for others, and now it is time she did something for herself. Karen Hammond is forty-seven, but does everything in her power to look younger. She exercises relentlessly, gets spa treatments, and etc. She loves to bake, but Karen never tastes anything she makes. Karen has worked hard to overcome her middle class roots and wants the best for her children. Karen is married to Oliver and has two children. Karen has secrets and she does not want them to come out. Claire Trelawney is a checker at Eaden and Sons. She is a single mom. Her little girl, Chloe is nine years old. Chloe loves watching cooking and baking shows, but she cannot afford expensive ingredients (like those sold at Eaden and Sons). Claire’s mother has signed her up for the show (Claire would never have entered if though she wanted to). Claire is nervous, but excited. Mike Wilkinson is forty-two years old, has two children, and is a widower. His wife died two years ago. Since the death of his wife Mike has learned to be a good coke and he loves to bake. We are not told much about Mike in the book (focuses more on the four women). He seems like a kind man who has a more carefree attitude toward baking (does not measure exactly). These ladies get to know each other as the competition progresses. We get to see into their lives and what shaped them. They all have obstacles they need to overcome. Read The Art of Baking Blind to see how the competition ends and how it changes each of them. I give The Art of Baking Blind 3 out of 5 stars. It is an interesting book, but it did not draw me in and hold my attention. It is a British novel so it contains different spellings of words than we are used to in America and words can mean different things in the United Kingdom (example: cookies are called biscuits, cake is sponge, and their puddings are not soft and velvety smooth). I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and review are my own.