The Art of Baking Blind: Book summary and reviews of The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

The Art of Baking Blind

by Sarah Vaughan

The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan X
The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
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  • Published in USA  May 2015
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn't slip.

As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn - as as Mrs. Eaden did before them - that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.


About the Author
Sarah Vaughan studied English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. After eleven years working at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent, and political correspondent, she started freelancing. She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children. The Art of Baking Blind is her first novel.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Warm, wise and inspiring, an utterly delicious novel." – Polly Williams, author of The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy

"Clever and compelling. I loved this!" – Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina

The information about The Art of Baking Blind shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Beckyh

The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
Vaughan has created five very likeable characters in the contestants for the “Next Mrs. Eaden, ‘ although Mike seems like the required male, an afterthought serving only as a foil for Claire’s Jay. Kathleen Eadon, who appears in back flashes, is the glue that serves to highlight each of the other character’s flaws and perfections. The book is lengthy (over 400 pages) but is a “quick” read. You will want to know the conclusion of the contest, and the solutions to each of the contestant’s (and Kathleen’s) dilemmas. The pronunciation of Kathleen’s last name might lead one to believe that housewifely skills always produce an “Eden” in one’s life -- and one would be wrong.
I hope in the finished book there is a glossary of the British cookery terms – and pictures of the wonderful treats the bakers create. The descriptions of the baking projects are scrumptious and will send you to the kitchen -- or hustling off to the grocery. Book groups will find a “baker’s dozen” of topics for discussion – marriage, motherhood, cookery skills, self-worth, bulimia, miscarriage, contests , love vs sex, perfection and many more.
5 of 5 stars

Carol N. (Indian Springs Village, AL)

The Art of Baking Blind
Don't read this book if you are hungry! The descriptions of the recipes and bake offs will leave you wanting to head out to the nearest bakery. This book is about the contest for the newest Mrs. Eaden and the five contestants chosen to compete for the prize. I enjoyed the story of Kathleen Eaden that was interspersed with the stories of the contestants - although some stories did not seem as complete as others. The writing was good and I would have loved for some recipes to be included as these were British delicacies and I have no idea what they might be. I would love to know what an apple hedgehog is! The ending seemed somewhat obvious to me but also was the one I would have chosen myself. All in all I thought this was an excellent book and would recommend it for book clubs and those who love cooking, food and stories about the part of our lives we keep hidden and the part we show to the world.

Mary D. (Claremont, CA)

The Art of Baking Blind
Once I started this book, I had a difficult time putting it down to carry-on with my normal daily routine! It is the story of four completely different people from different walks of life: an empty-nester coming to terms with a husband who is now a stranger and a crumbling marriage, a single mother who gave up her dreams to provide for her child, a widower, and an up-scale woman who must be perfect of considers herself to be a failure. They are also chosen to be the new Mrs. Eaden, who had issues of her own, and are entered into a baking contest to that end. The characters are all quite believable, well-drawn and it is interesting to learn about all the diverse reasons they like/love to bake. Tensions grow, relationships develop or die, some make it through the contest, some don't. The characters are developed in depth but the writing style is not clinical, but very personal; I found myself wanting to keep reading just to find out what happens next! My only "complaint" is that none of the recipes were included, although I did go on-line and look up several of them. This is a very entertaining book, easily read, that looks into the psyches of five different people and why they bake. I highly recommend it, for several hours of reading pleasure.

Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)

Nothing's as It Seems
Start with a British baking contest similar to "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS. Add a search for the new Mrs. Eaden (a British Julia Child). Mix in four everyday women who love to bake and, for spice, one gentleman wishing to escape his all-female household. Put them through their paces on a variety of difficult but tasty baked treats. Stir in detailed biographies of their actual home lives, longings and psychological tics. Dust with the biography of the real Mrs. Eaden whose recipes they try to emulate. Bake with all the ensuing tension over who will win and you have a winning novel best not read on a hungry stomach.

Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)

I loved, loved, loved this book.
This was like reading three books at the same time. The baking was great. There were several items I had never heard of, such as Battenburg cakes and Victoria Sponge. Did find them on the net. The character development was first rate. (Now I am sounding British.) Every person was changed during the weeks of the baking contest. We watched them at home and as well at the contest site. The entire premise of finding a Kathleen Eaden was very engaging as well. Well, I think I better get up and bake something.

Valerie V. (PENNINGTON, NJ)

Recipe for The Art of Baking Blind
Sarah Vaughan's novel The Art of Baking Blind is a chef-d'oeuvre! Vaughan takes three varieties of stay-at-home moms, one widower, and a single mom. She folds her female characters along with an assortment of men into one esteemed baking competition. What does she get? One flavorful novel! Readers will relish watching the lives of five amateur chefs unfold as they strive to beat their rivals. The bakers know the ingredients for their savory baked goods, but do they know the recipe for a happy, contented, empowered life? This novel is a scrumptious read and certain to be a sweet treat for book clubs.

...23 more reader reviews

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