Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Novels With Nell - The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

One favorite of 2017 had to be adding in different categories of posts to Prep In Your Step. I love that after Nell had spent so much time helping me behind the scenes that we were able to come up with a series for her to do for y'all. Novels with Nell couldn't have been a better fit. It's been a bit since her last one since I had other content that needed to go live, but I couldn't be happier that they are officially back today.

If you're new to the blog (welcome!) Nell is one of my best friends. We lived together both freshman and senior year of college, traveled abroad together, and consistently have 3 hour phone calls when we are apart. I wish that I were more like Nell when it came to sticking to my bed time and reading more consistently. Novels with Nell will be back every other week for y'all!

By: Louise Miller

As you could probably tell due to my consistently starting these posts with, “I read this in high school,” it has been a little while, probably a few months, since I’ve been in a good reading groove. Between finishing up prerequisite classes and labs to apply to PA school, working, volunteering, and studying for said classes and labs, I wasn’t reading for fun regularly. Thankfully that time is over and I’m back to the (non academic) books.

I just finished The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living per Carly’s (of Carly the Prepster) recommendation. Carly described it as a “cozy” read, and I have to agree! I’d call it the winter equivalent of a beach read. Apparently I have a thing for books where the characters make major life changes to go work at quaint, cozy inns in Vermont (see previous post on Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter). This book has some classic small town rivalries, explores family ties, and of course, a love interest for the main character. A great “winter read,” perfect for those of us in the Southeast with “snow days” today!

“When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.
Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.

With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.

But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.”

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