My regular monthly Book Review Club is dark this month, but I’m still posting a review of Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray.
Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray
The topic for my readers group this month is Luck of the Draw. I literally drew this title out of a bag, not knowing anything about it. I downloaded the e-book from my local public library.
This is a light read that I’d call Women’s Fiction. Ruth is a happily married wife whose life falls apart when two big things happen. Her husband, Sam, loses his job as a hospital administrator, and her absent father, Guy, breaks both wrists and needs somewhere to stay. Having Guy wouldn’t be so bad, but Ruth’s mother Hollis also lives with them, and the two ex-spouses can’t stand each other. Or can they?
Ruth has been an avid baker all her life, and when she took a meditation class, she found her safe spot by picturing herself inside a big Bundt cake. Whenever she’s stressed, she bakes cakes. When it looks they will run out of money before Sam finds another job–esp. since he seems more interesting in buying and restoring wooden boats–Guy suggests that Ruth go into the cake baking business, which forces her out of her comfort zone. Pretty soon the whole family is involved in her fledgling “Eat Cake” business.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were all memorable, flawed but sympathetic, like real people. Guy is a real character, an aging charmer who plays the piano in fancy hotels and restaurants. Hollis, her sharp-tongued mother, discovers that she still has a soft spot in her heart for her wayward spouse, and Camille, the sulky teen, comes through in a big way. Very enjoyable.
The descriptions of Ruth’s cakes are mouth-watering, and the author includes recipes at the end. I’m very proud of myself for reading the entire book without running to the store to buy pieces of cake.
Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club will return in October.