The Cake Therapist: A Book Review
Normally I don't read this kind of book. It was labeled as magical realism, and I mostly keep my fantasy and non-fantasy separate--fantasy set in made up worlds or distant, unknown pasts, and non-fantasy set firmly in our world with no magic involved, though I do delve into urban fantasy and steampunk sometimes.
But I found both the cover and the blurb striking, so I picked it up from the library display. I wasn't disappointed. The book focuses on a baker named Claire "Neely" O'Neil who has this ability to tell what flavors explain people and what those flavors mean. She has recently moved back to her hometown in Ohio after some disappointments and struggles in her personal life. Her hometown has set itself up as a bridal district, so Neely opens a bakery that caters for weddings.
But soon, baking cakes and other treats is not all she's doing. The book flips between the past and the present as Neely discovers an old, painful secret between one of her neighbors and the family of her clients. In the end, she is able to heal the wound this secret has left.
However, throughout this, she is also helping other clients with their issues, one of her employees with hers, dealing with marital issues, and teetering on the edge of a new romance.
This book is jam-packed with eloquent descriptions, fantastic writing, and intriguing characters who are well-developed. It would be perfectly delicious as a standalone, but the second book, The Memory of Lemon, came out this June, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
The author, Judith Fertig is an accomplish cook and cookbook author, but I believe The Cake Therapist is her first debut in fiction.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves books about small towns, mysteries, romance, magic, and sweet treats, as The Cake Therapist has all five of these things.
I'm going to leave you with my idea of what I think Neely looks like--and yes, I know this is a picture of Florence Welch.
Well, I hope this encouraged you to check this book out! If you do, I hope you love it as much as I do.
Signing Off, Reike