Saturday, January 07, 2017

Best of 2016: Small Town Life

Reviewed by Ellebee,
library assistant

The City Baker's Guide to
Country Living,
by Louise Miller

In The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, we meet Olivia (Livvy) Rawlings, a celebrated pastry chef who, as it turns out, is a bit flaky. After working her way up the culinary ladder, she has a mishap that sends her fleeing from Boston to the comforting arms of her best friend in the small town of Guthrie, Vermont. Livvy has a quick wit and a smart mouth, and those, coupled with making poor choices in men and being in possession of a very large dog, tend to get her into some uncomfortable situations.

For all the messiness of her life, we come to realize that Livvy has a good heart and (most of the time) tries to do the right thing. Livvy has had to do everything on her own since her father died when she was just 16. She doesn't realize it at first, but this baker is hungering for a sense of belonging--a place to call home. Will she find it in small-town Guthrie amongst nosy neighbors, a fragrant kitchen, and the sound of banjos?

This review is based on the unabridged book on disc (audio book) read by Jorjeana Marie, a narrator new to me. I thought she did a good job portraying the various characters, and her voice was not distracting to the story line. When I first started listening, I wasn't sure if I would like the story, but I quickly found myself drawn in and looking forward to getting in my car to hear what happened next. I enjoyed hearing about small town life, and found myself wishing to spend time where the pace isn’t as hectic as it is here in Southern California. The descriptions of baking and cooking were mouthwatering, and I especially liked the parts of the book regarding banjo and fiddle playing, which are not as corny as that sounds!

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