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How to Bake a Perfect Life: A Novel Paperback – December 21, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Thankfully, at last, a book worth finishing - and keeping on my bookshelf as well. I won't detail the plot or well-crafted characters, as others have sufficiently summed up those aspects. I merely wanted to put in my proverbial two cents and give this novel enthusiastic praise. (On another note, I don't understand the review regarding 'explicit sex,' as I don't recall any such elements in this novel, so please do not let that critique deter you from buying this book. Perhaps the reviewer was thinking of a different novel?)
The creation of a book, much like the making of a loaf of bread, requires the careful combination and layering of many aspects--plot, structure, characterization, voice. "How To Bake A Perfect Life" takes all those elements and adds a dash of the unknown, a willingness to take a chance by focusing the story on an older heroine. There's a lot going on, but somehow Ms. O'Neal simply makes it work, and the result is one of the best books I've read in ages.
There are 1 or 2 bedroom scenes but I didn't find anything overly explicit or inappropriate for the target audience. Because the book touches on themes of teenage pregnancy, depression, life struggles/disappointments, this is a book for women, not young teens. More importantly the scenes are woven into the story in a way that adds emotion/meaning to the plot as part of the evolution of a relationship..not just for the sake of adding sex. In fact, like other reviewers, it probably wouldn't have jumped out at me as having "sex scenes" if I hadn't seen it mentioned.
I didn't give it five stars because it isn't a book that I would read more than once nor is it earth shaking. But it is a book that I would share and pass along (if it weren't on my Kindle). I couldn't put it down and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you enjoy women's fiction, you should add How to Bake a Perfect Life to your reading list.
The story slowly moves along with Ramona trying to keep her bakery business afloat and out of debt. Katie is trying to adjust to the new surroundings and Sofia is hoping her husband has a full speedy recovery.
Every now and then, I come across a highly recommended, 5-star rated book. But when I read it, I wonder what the praise was for. How to Bake a Perfect Life is that type of book. It wasn't a page turner for me. It was too easy to put down and reluctant to pick back up. The writing was well done but the story itself just fell flat in a predictable way. I thought the theme (relationship between a mother and daughter; the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child) would draw me in. Unfortunately, it did not. I disagree with the village's recommendation. Meh!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was an enjoyable read. The ladies in my book group agreed. My only adverse thought: I was disappointed the author did not explore relationships further, especially the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lynnie
This was a heartwarming book. It's one filled with hope. Though all of the characters have gone through some really difficult times, they are the picture of perseverance,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jo T.
This is not normally the type of book that I read, but I really enjoyed it. The characters pulled me onward. I could have done without the recipes (I sort of skipped those). Read morePublished 6 months ago by Carmen R. Hudson
I have always loved her books. Barbara O'Neal always knows how to build great characters. How her characters cope with adversity is the backbone of her stories and this one is no... Read morePublished 6 months ago by virg
A fantastic book with some unexpected twists, to read on a lazy afternoon. Bonus: are the recipes for all kinds of bread or pastries.Published 6 months ago by ACP
You will really love this if you are into baking bread! Good story.Published 8 months ago by Barbara Carry
Great recipes, excellent writing and lovely characters make this a wonderful book. I couldn't put it down for a whole day.Published 9 months ago by Michelle Mercado
Love anything written by Barbara O'Neal/Barbara Samuel. I love her characters and her descriptions are so vivid it's like being there.Published 10 months ago by Satisfied Reader