The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
|The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
|Category: Women's Fiction
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer
|Summary: If you love reading and love baking, you will discover a real treat in The Art of Baking Blind. Five very different people come together in a baking competition to find the new Mrs Eaden, an iconic cookery writer who has recently died. Through many weeks of baking cakes, biscuits, bread and much, much more, the contestants put their culinary talents to the test. For all of them though, it is also the chance to discover who they really are and what they want to be.
|Date: July 2014
|Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Eaden and Son is looking for the next Mrs Eaden. The original Mrs Eaden, Kathleen, has recently died and in her honour, the upmarket grocery store is running a baking competition to find someone to advise the store on its baking products; to write a monthly magazine column; and to front Eaden’s advertising campaign. It’s an extremely appealing prospect and attracts many willing contestants that are eventually whittled down to five who will take part in weekly bake-offs in order to showcase their talents in all aspects of baking.
The final five are all at very different stages in their lives and each has their own reason for taking part. Jenny’s three daughters have all grown up and left home leaving her alone with a husband who is more interested in marathon running than spending any time with her; Vicki is a teacher who has spent the last three years as a stay-at-home mum; Claire is a young, single mum to nine-year-old Chloe; Mike is bringing up his two children alone after having been recently widowed; and then there’s Karen, a woman who is difficult to know but is always trying to prove something. Such a disparate set of characters make this a very enjoyable read and I loved finding out about the lives of all the contestants. There was also, through flashbacks, much to learn about the iconic Mrs Eaden who was also a very enjoyable character to get to know.
This is also a lovely book for anyone who enjoys baking or for anyone who enjoys eating the end results. Each chapter starts with temptingly delicious descriptions of a different baking masterpiece which are supposedly extracted from Mrs Eaden’s 1960’s book, The Art of Baking. They are so tempting though that they could have you reaching either for your apron or the cake tin. Therefore, it’s probably not the best book to be reading if you are on a diet.
There are many ways that the reader might compare the baking competition in the book with the very popular contest. The Great British Bake-Off. In fact, I found it impossible to read about Mrs Eaden without picturing the wonderful Mary Berry. There’s also a judge who is very similar to Paul Hollywood. I loved this element of the story, and, being a fan of the TV show meant that I enjoyed the book even more.
This is an extremely enjoyable book with strong characters and intriguing storylines. I loved every minute of it.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan at Amazon.com.
The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan is in the Top Ten Women's Fiction Books 2014.
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