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The Baker's Apprentice: A Novel Paperback – March 14, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Wynter is waiting on her divorce settlement and is strapped for cash, having borrowed $15,000 from her mother to become a partner in the bakery. Although the sex is great, her sometime boyfriend Mac is experiencing personal (emotional) problems, and splits for Alaska to rewrite his rejected manuscript. Things at work are well nigh unbearable: new cake decorator Maggie and barista Tyler are engaged in a perpetual war against each other, creating tension and worse. Wynter is left to pick up the pieces, and after Linda retires, Tyler is made a baker's apprentice in her place. Surprisingly, the artistic Tyler proves a quick study. Wynter is offered the chance to return to Toulouse to visit the bakery where she had a fateful internship in college, hoping to learn new bread wisdom from the master baker she once dreamed of seducing.
There are several mouthwatering recipes included (Hazelnut Cappuccino Scones, Tyler's Indian Maiden Bread, fouace aux noix), and Hendricks' lush descriptions of the process of baking, baked goods, and the luscious dinners that Wynter whips up borders on food porn. However, the plot slows to a crawl at times, with too much of the book devoted to Mac's narrations of life in Beaverton, Yukon Territories.Read more ›
To me, this book reads like a jumbled mix of everything that was edited out of the first book. The pace is frustratingly slow and not much gets resolved. For example: the whole divorce issue, which was core in the first book, peters out as if the author is tired of discussing it.
As more of a minor but irritating point: not one person is happy in the entire book. Every employee has a personal crisis (none of which are resolved or moved forward) and the book ends very abruptly.
So, I'm ticked that I bought -- and read -- what amounts to the author's cast-off notes from _Bread Alone_. I kept hoping the story would get better but it never did. My mistake was not sticking to the "library strategy".
But things start falling apart, bit by bit. One of the bakery's workers, blue-haired waif Tyler, attempts to make the new cake designer look bad, and ends up damaging the bakery's reputation. When Wynter agrees to take on a bread baker's apprentice during her night shift, she's dismayed when troubled Tyler steps into the role. Soon Tyler is smoking pot during her shift and complaining about having to do routine chores such as cleaning equipment and measuring flour.
Wynter begins to be bothered by certain aspects of her relationship with Mac. She wonders why Mac refuses to talk to her about his childhood and why the role he assumes among her friends strikes her as false. When Wynter asks Mac to go home to her mother's with her at Christmas, she knows he won't come --- and he doesn't. Their own Christmas celebration is a disheartening bust. Needless to say, Mac never utters the words "relationship" or "commitment."
Wynter develops tendonitis in her wrist. With bread making impossible, can she rely on Tyler? Well --- yes, as a matter of fact. Tyler amazes Wynter by rapidly becoming an expert and enraptured bread maker. This cheers Wynter in the face of her continuing divorce problems and her accompanying financial woes.
Mac heads into the sunset suddenly, stating he needs time to himself. His meandering plus car troubles land him in the Yukon, where he writes strangely impersonal letters to Wynter.Read more ›
Not only does the author mess with the characters but she also messes with the setting. Queen Street Bakery along with several other businesses on the street are in danger of closing due to rising rents ant gentrification. I don't want to reveal the whole story so I will stop here.
I feel that the author had too many plot lines running through this story and none of them were successfully resolved by the end of the book. Some of them did not even advance the story of the book. Will Wyn ever get her money settlement from her philandering husband or will he and his second wife manage to hide or lose all assets before she gets her money? Will Mac and Wyn make it as a couple? Will Tyler be able to find her own way in the world or will she self destruct? Will Wyn return to LA to live and be near her childhood friend CM? Will Mac's book sell? Will CM find true love? Is the author going to write another book that will answer these questions? I don't know. I only know that I feel cheated with so many unanswered questions.
I think that if someone read this book first, they would not only be very confused but cheated of the warmth of what was the Queen Street Bakery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book. It needs to be read in sequence, but I enjoyed the journey with these characters!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Quick read, the ending was abrupt..reading along and then nothing more..other wise it was an ok read, wouldn't reread so will delete out of my library...Published 3 days ago by D. M. Pereira
enjoyed the story line...it kept my attention, and of course made we want to read the Baker's Blues..Published 2 months ago by tiscally
Again, a book I can't put down. Intriguing characters, scenery of place and descriptions of bakery creations make this food for my soul.Published 2 months ago by grullablonde
The only thing I really didn't care for was the fact that, for a former "society wife", Wyn was awfully socially awkward!Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Terry
I enjoyed the first book Bread Alone and this follow-up was good. I recommend this only if you read the first book.Published 4 months ago by Kathie Ryan
Writing a wonderful book such as "Bread Alone" your first time at bat gets you a publisher and other goodies, but you set yourself up for comparisons and I think that has... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Anne Clark