Olivia Rawlings is not having a good day. She’s an award winning pastry chef at an exclusive private club in Boston and is having an affair with her married, much older boss. As she presents a flaming Baked Alaska to the crowded dining room, she sees her boss with his wife and somehow manages to drop the flaming dessert and sets the place on fire.
Refusing to hang around to be fired, she escapes to the small Vermont town of Guthrie, where her best friend Hannah lives. Hannah is thrilled to see her, and finagles her into taking a job at the small B&B. The job comes with a place to stay, and Olivia decides to try it.
Margaret Hurley is her new boss, and she is a cantankerous old lady. Olivia can’t understand why this woman who obviously doesn’t care for her has given her a job. Then she finds out it’s to win the blue ribbon for apple pie at the county fair.
Just down the hill from Livvy’s small cottage is a working farm, and she meets Martin McCracken, the son of the owner who is dying of cancer. Livvy becomes enamored of Martin, but he keeps his distance. Meanwhile she is fitting in just fine to the slow and nosy ways of small town life. Orphaned in high school, Livvy finds herself dredging up her early banjo lessons with her father and playing in a local band. Martin plays the fiddle beautifully, and together – dare I say it? They make beautiful music.
When Martin’s fiancee shows up for his father’s funeral, the day after she finally sleeps with him, Livvy runs away yet again; this time she takes off for Boston. But life catches up with her, and she finds herself returning to Guthrie once more.
This is one of those charming novels that are so hard to come by. I just adored this book and it was a one night read for me. There’s even a recipe for apple pie at the end. I’ll let you know if I make it.
NOTE: This book is from the Pamela Dorman imprint and let me tell you, I will read anything that woman publishes – Jojo Moyes, Nicci French, J. Ryan Stradal, Beth Hoffman, and Laura Lane McNeal. She also publishes Luanne Rice but I haven’t read her yet. Guess I’ll have to add her to the list.
8/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING by Louise Miller. Pamela Dorman Books (August 9, 2016). ISBN 978-1101981207. 384p.