The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig
Claire “Neely” O’Neil finds her way back to her home town of Millcreek Valley Iowa to open a bakery. Claire feels she needs the break from her own life to sort out the flavors of what decisions she needs to make as well as the desire she has to bring flavors and tastes to others. Claire has an unusual talent of adding the right flavor combination together to bring out a customers secrets, fears, desires… a talent Claire does not always want, but one that has brought great success when helping potential clients choose a wedding cake that suits them both, or a flavor to mend a broken heart.
Claire certainly doesn’t have to worry about much down time as messages and packages keep arriving from her husband she is separated from, her goth girl employee tries to cover her secrets and pain with dark-colored make up, an older woman of the neighborhood brings about stress, and a handsome man from Claire’s past makes her wonder what would have happened if she had chosen the path not taken.
There is plenty going on around Rainbow Bakery to keep even the pickiest customer coming back for more.
The Cake Therapist was a light and sweet read. Early on in the book the story jumps into Claire’s talent of knowing what flavors work with what customers however I found that part confusing and if I had not first read the synopsis I would not have understood what was happening when Claire opens the bakery door and describes the flavors separating into light. There is also a lot going on in this book. A LOT. Between Claire’s own storyline unfolding, her employee Jett’s troubles, and a story set 100 years earlier following along in alternating chapters, the book felt a little choppy too me. I had trouble figuring out what the historical story had to do with the current story and things did not flow well until half way through the read.
The Cake Therapist was a good read and I enjoyed the characters although there was no great aha moment. When things do piece together in the end it is quick and eve though answers were revealed I don’t think enough of it was said earlier on for the reader to have that true “Oh! Of course!” moment. When the story ends it feels as though more could be said – but not enough for a second book.
My recommendation is to try The Cake Therapist for yourself as with my current life happenings I do not necessarily trust my feelings on this one. As a lighter read this book would make for a good summer read. Don’t expect a lot of “wow”, but you can expect to feel good.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (June 2, 2015)