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Bread Alone: A Novel Paperback – May 28, 2002
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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.
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. As Wyn bakes bread she also tries to figure out why her life turned out the way it did and what she can now do to make it better. In no time at all Wyn becomes ingrained in the life of the Seattle bakery making friends with other workers as well as neighbors eager for her company and Wyn knows she ia at home finally.
If this book is somewhat reminiscent of other titles where a newly divorced woman first alone and lonely, finds a job, grows up and begins to lead a productive life, it is Judith Ryan Hendricks pleasant writing and attention to emotions which does set this book apart. And as an added bonus the author manages to capture the vibrancy, sights, sounds and smells of the wonderful city of Seattle.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very moving journey.