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The Baker's Apprentice: A Novel Paperback – March 14, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Bread remains a significant metaphor for life in Hendricks's warm and savory if somewhat predictable sequel to her debut novel, Bread Alone (2001). In the fall of 1989, Wynter Morrison, now a full partner in Seattle's funky Queen Street Bakery, is still waiting for her divorce settlement to become final. The former L.A. socialite, empowered by the lessons she's learned working with bread, takes on a new responsibility: teaching Tyler Adler, an angry ex-cheerleader, about the joys and perils of baking. Meanwhile, Wyn's relationship with bartender Mac McLeod, a frustrated writer, is in trouble: "Throw some sex into the mix and it's like putting too much yeast in bread. It's all very fizzy and light and wonderful, but then it rises too high and can't support its own weight and the whole thing falls flat." Then Mac suddenly takes off, retreating to a small town where he struggles to overcome writer's block and deal with an old tragedy that has affected his romance with Wyn. When Mac returns, Wyn faces a future that might not include bread baking, and the couple learns that a recipe for life without love is totally useless. Bakers will welcome the recipes (such as for Capuccino Hazelnut Scones) that Hendricks includes. Agent, Jane Gelfman at Gelfman/Schneider. (Apr. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Readers who loved Wynter and Mac in Bread Alone (2001) will be glad to know that Hendricks cooks up a fulfilling second helping in this engaging sequel (recipes included). In the first novel, Wynter needed a bit of rescuing and Mac made a wonderful knight errant. Here it is Mac who needs saving, but he's not ready to accept her help, so he takes off for Alaska, settling in tiny, quirky Beaverton. From there he writes letters to Wynter and tries to come to terms with his past. Hendricks excels at creating atmosphere, bringing both the Yukon and Seattle to life as determined Wynter copes and Mac broods. Hendricks' story reveals many secrets as it provides readers with a fulfilling and happy reading experience. Although not as funny as Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me [BKL D 1 03] or Raffaella Barker's Summertime (2003), Hendricks' latest expresses the same heartfelt and committed love, sense of community, and pervasive kindness via fabulously cool and competent heroes. Highly recommended for both romance and women's fiction fans. Neal Wyatt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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Someone I know said that Judith Hendrick's books
are so believable that you can smell the bread. I think that sums it up. I hate to cook but can live vicariously in a baker's world and enjoy the smells and the tastes. Unfortunately, someone in my family went through depression, although not requiring medication, and so I knew that Ms.
Hendricks knows what she is writing about when she describes Mac. Every character of any note should grow in a story and Wyn does just that.
At the end, you know she is going to be okay. There are lots of wonderful descriptions not only of foods but of the world that surrounds Wyn and Mac that are told to us in Hendrick's own style and thoughtful way. For anyone to say that they are disappointed in the book, I would certainly
wonder what kind of expectations they had. Hendricks wrote a different book, "Baker's Blues," not another version of "Bread Alone," and
I, for one, am glad that she, too, is following new horizons. I found the book thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening.
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.
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".