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Bread Alone: A Novel Paperback – May 28, 2002

149 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Bread Alone Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The First Wives Club acquires a junior member in this pleasant if unremarkable first novel. When 31-year-old Wynter Morrison finds herself locked out of her house by her handsome, spoiled husband, David, who has taken up with a beautiful blonde, she is devastated. With only three years' experience teaching high school, one year in real estate sales and seven years experience as the "Executive Wife" and "Charming Hostess," Wyn has little success fending for herself at first, but a growing self-awareness emerges slowly once she leaves her old lifestyle in Los Angeles. After visiting a friend in Seattle, Wyn moves there to take a job at a local bakery. No longer dependent on David, Wyn finds solace in living a spartan existence and working hard in the early morning hours baking bread, though she is frustrated by the unimaginative veteran baker. Her memories of a year abroad in Toulouse during her sophomore year at UCLA where she learned to bake bread in a family bakery are sprinkled throughout the story, as are her favorite bread recipes. Over the course of this long, convoluted tale, Wyn transforms from a "willfully ignorant," betrayed wife living in sunny L.A. whose greatest worry is what to wear to the next symphony ball, to a flannel shirt-wearing bakery owner living in the rainy Northwest who finds love with a bartender-turned-writer. In this engaging novel, Hendricks creates a compelling narrator whose wry, bemused and ultimately wise voice hooks the reader. Even though Wyn's story is predictable at times, this is a well-written, imaginative debut. Agent, Deborah Schneider.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When in doubt, bake bread at least that is what Wyn Morrison does. She was once known as Wyn Franklin, but one day her husband informed her that they were growing apart and that he needed some time to himself. Having been a career wife who managed her busy ad executive husband's successful social life, Wyn is lost. To top it all off, her mother has found happiness with another man after being a widow for 15 years. Wyn still desperately misses her father and can't quite become accustomed to the idea that her mother is going to remarry. Breadmaking is her solace, and it leads quickly to a job in a bakery and a chance at a new life. In addition, Wyn meets Mac, a handsome bartender who could prove to be the man able to make her truly happy. Dotted with bread recipes, Hendricks's engaging first novel will appeal to fans of a good story and intriguing characters. Highly recommended for all public libraries. Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060084405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060084400
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Armed with a degree in journalism and a short attention span, Judith Ryan Hendricks worked as a journalist, copywriter, computer instructor, travel agent, waitress and baker before turning to fiction writing. Her first novel, Bread Alone, was a national bestseller and a BookSense 76 pick. It was followed by Isabel's Daughter, set in Santa Fe, and The Baker's Apprentice. The Laws of Harmony was published in February, 2009 and was nominated for The Santa Fe Reporter's "Best of Santa Fe." Baker's Blues, part three of the bakery trilogy, will be available in August 2015. Hendricks' fiction has been translated into 12 languages and distributed in 16 countries. She lives in New Mexico with husband Geoff and dog Blue.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Terry Mathews on June 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm glad this little book found me, as I was hungry to read something of quality.
Wynter Morrison is a woman adrift. She's been cut loose from her secure mooring by a wayward husband (a jerk of the first water) and she's unsure what comes next. Forced from her home in an upscale LA neighborhood, Wynter finds herself on a plane to Seattle to visit her childhood friend, CM.
On her trip, Wynter discovers a small neighborhood bakery complete with an odd cast of characters. When the bottom drops out from her LA world, she relocates to Seattle and starts to work at the bakery. The routine of bread making in the middle of the night soothes her and gives her direction.
It's been a long time since I've read such a well crafted first novel. I loved the characters...flaws and all...and I loved Hendricks' detailed description of the process of bread making...
This is an author to watch...
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on August 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When Wynter's smarmy husband unexpectedly suggests that they separate, she is floored. She has little job experience and has drifted in an unfulfilling marriage and life in LA for years. Wyn soon finds solace in baking bread, despite her crusty co-worker, Linda. Relocating to Seattle, she establishes a place for herself in a small bakery and starts a new life. She moves from a desire to get revenge to a search for fulfillment.
Hendricks has taken a modern-day romance and populated it with some really memorable and well-developed characters. The story and the characters ring true and the novel moves along quickly as we follow Wyn on her journey of self-discovery.
All kinds of relationships are explored in this book and the author looks at them with honesty and humor. While a bit predictable, it is never pedestrian. And the bread-baking tips were a welcome extra.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
In recent years, many fiction titles written by women authors focus on female relationships featuring a particular location or occupation. In the past these relationships have taken place in a beauty parlor as was described in Lorna Landvik's book Patty Jane's House of Curl or the Hollers as in Big Stone Gap by Adriani Trigiani and even a friendship group as in The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney and now a bakery as in Bread Alone, the first book by Judith Ryan Hendricks. And while the topic isn't entirely new the author did a fairly good job of conveying the plot in an enjoyable manner using an interesting location and city.
Wyn Morrison is an unfulfilled woman. Married to a succesful man with a poor job record before her and no encouragement from her husband, she is a familiar face on the ladies luncheon circuit, tennis courts and charity events. In every sense of the word Wyn is David's wife, dressing up for him when they go out and smiling at dinners with clients. Somehow, though, Wyn becomes rather complacent about her life which can't be said for her husband. Suddenly Wyn finds herself with a husband who is seeking a divorce from her so he can marry another woman. While Wyn is somewhat adrift at first, as we read on we sense that now Wyn has the opportunity to strike out on her own and find her way alone. And all the while we are the witnesses as she stumbles into a bakery while visiting a friend in Seattle. Finding out that extra hands are needed at the bakery, Wyn finds herself suggesting that she become part of the satff. And within days she has flour up to her elbows as this job brings back a flood of memories about her student days when she apprenticed to a baker with a small shop in a town near Paris.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lizz on September 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure what to expect with "Bread Alone." Was it going to be a funny romantic romp? A serious character study? A slow-moving read? No, it was just a delightful story, pleasant to read, satisfying to finish. I actually kind of miss the character of Wynter, now that I've finished the book and have moved on to another one. I really enjoyed the friendship she has with CM; I thought it was a very realistic portrayal of adult female friendships. I was frustrated with every scene in which David made an appearance. In short, I felt I was learning and growing along with Wynter as she matured through the course of the story. It is a fantastic book. I cannot wait for Hendricks' next novel to become available in paperback.
If you're looking for a light, frothy novel, with stereotypical characters and predictable plotlines, this is not for you. It's better than that. If you want to learn more about a wonderful character, and maybe a little bit about baking bread, this is a wonderful choice.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jo-Ann Mapson on June 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Judi Hendrick's Bread Alone is a wonderful read. When Wynter is left by her yuppie husband, she travels to Seattle to bunk with a friend and nurse her wounds, but ends up finding a life. Much of the action takes place in a bakery run by an eclectic group of women who throw themselves into their work to heal their hearts. That's story enough for this reader, but Hendricks takes things further by introducing great men who add another layer to the women's lives. What I loved most about this book is that the women's friendships are the core of the story. Hendricks shows us them warts and all, and gives the reader a rich, chewy story to enjoy even after the last page is turned. I look forward to her next book.
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