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This book was just what the doctor ordered after a number of dark mysteries and psychological thrillers It s a lovely summer read with likeable characters and did I mention there s pie Boston baker, Livvy, makes a reluctant move to the Vermont countryside, where she takes up a position as baker for the Sugar Maple Inn, little knowing that its owner, Margaret, has other plans for her There is some romance, a little mystery, but mostly this is a story about friendship and family It s not cheesy, if a little predictable, and I really enjoyed immersing myself in the cozy atmosphere of this book As someone who enjoys baking, and certainly the odd slice of pie, Miller s culinary observations were fun, and I intend to test the apple pie recipe she includes in the back of the novel For fans of light hearted fiction with a cast of friendly characters and a well illustrated, cozy setting, THE CITY BAKER S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING won t disappoint I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and have written what I think is a fair and honest review Thank you Findreviews and bookish fun at What a delicious, fun read I was hooked by the blub on this one after I read pastry chef extraordinaire If it has anything to do with food, I m going to read it And if it s baking.come on Livvy is the pastry chef extraordinaire, who is having a rough go of it Her parents are gone and she seems a bit lost After a mishap at her current place of employment, she travels a few hours to visit her friend and find comfort, but instead, she finds a job as the head pasty chef at a Vermont resort Livvy describes in detail all the mouth watering delights that she bakes And she bakes a lot in this one There is even a large apple pie baking contest at the annual fair which seems to be the biggest competition around The story is not something I would normally read it s a bit sweet in terms of girl leaves one guy, finds another guy, heartbreak, and then..well, it was a bit predictable But it had a big focus on baking so I gave it a shot And I was happy to read this one Sometimes you just need a feel good book And if includes details on making apple pies, it s just the whipped cream on top So to speak Plus, I learned a great new tip on pie dough making that I can t wait to try out.I listened to this one on audio It was an OK audio I could have either listened or read the print. Livvy Rawlings is a pastry chef at an exclusive restaurant in Boston called the Emerson Club One evening while serving a flambe dessert, she accidently sets the building on fire Out of job and needing money, she moves in with with her best friend in Vermont Eventually, she finds herself a job as a baker at a small inn The owner s intention is to utilize Livvy s culinary skills to win a pie contest.Livvy begins to settle into her life and guests are pleased with her baking She develops a close friendship with her neighbors, Dotty and Henry McCracken She feels a connection to their son Martin who is in from Seattle Livvy plays the banjo in a local band where Martin is the fiddler Unsure of how long Martin will stay in town, she would like a romantic relationship to develop.Livvy starts to embrace small town living and moves on from her past life One big difference is local gossip which makes everything public Is this the place where Livvy will settle I enjoyed the many well developed characters that were introduced in this book The descriptions of the baking flowing through the story made it a real treat to read.I am thrilled that the author is working on her second novel 14.14 for hardcover on I had to read the first sentence in the book three times The night I lit the Emerson Club on fire had been perfect for making meringue. Each time I read it, I giggled and called out What And then I started laughing That s what I do in dumbfounding astonishment And I liked the feeling of the book on the spot What a great way of starting out a book and setting the tone for what turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing, no brainer, good read.Our protagonist was orphaned at the age of sixteen when her father passed away and her mother was sort of missing in action since she was a baby By the grace of many angels, 32 year old Olivia Rawlings became a well known chef in the prestigious Emerson Club in Chicago After the Emerson Club disaster with the pistachio baked Alaska, she was asked to take a break That lead her to her best friend Hannah in Guthrie, Vermont, where everybody knows everything but no one says a word.Livvy was not the poster child for good behaviour, and had a few less flowery tales to rather not talk about Taking care of herself since the age of sixteen, with no adults to keep an eye, she did what all teenagers did when nobody was looking She developed her own way of coping with challenges, such as dyeing her hair when it was time for change The color could be anything from Manic Panic Electric Amethyst, to Manic Panic Electric lava, or Cotton Candy Pink and the color did not remain long enough on her hair to call it home The Manic Panic color palette arrived and left through a revolving door on her head as the changes started piling up in her life Apart from introducing a new self to a new beginning through an instant new hair color, she discovered the secret of food to win the hearts of the new people she constantly met Guthrie was not the easiest town to win over, not with her track record However, it did not take long to crumble the community s resistence with dishes such as corn consomm , a salad of baby red oak greens, with toasted black walnuts and a maple vinaigrette with goats cheese with croutons made of dried apple spice bread prime rib with cipollini au jus, wild mushroom risotto and roasted Brussels sprouts popovers with chives cheese plates containing Vermont cheddar with quince paste, fresh ch vre with home made blackberry preserves , sheep s milk blue cheese with pears poached in port desserts including pumpkin cr me Br l e baked in hollowed out miniature pumpkins apple galettes with frangipane in puff pastry pears stuffed with cognac soaked figs wrapped in phyllo, baked to a crispy brown, chocolote shells, filled with thick amber caramel, studded with toasted pecans and a layer of dark chocolate ganache just barely sweetened and huckleberry clafouti I am a bit concerned about the frangipani in food, since in Africa it is a beautiful fragrant flower but highly poisonous, so I need to check that recipe out on the internet haven t done so yet.Chef Albert at the Sugar Maple Inn, where Livvy found a job as a pastry chef, made sure that her first serious performance as chef at the Guthrie Harvest Festival, capped off by the Harvest Dinner afterwards, would be a success.But Livvy had onechallenge to prove that she was the best pastry chef for Sugar Maple Inn The apple pie competition at the Coventry Country Fair Margaret Hurley was the owner of Sugar Maple Inn, and since her husband s passing lost the competition for three years in a row It was a disgrace in the eyes of the town She was determined to appoint a chef that would bring back the blue ribbons once again And then there was the elusive neighbor, Martin McCraken, who invited her to become part of the Hungry Mountaineers band, performing at the Contra Dance events in town Livvy could play a banjo putting many masters to shame.Livvy s change of scenery, from a sea of impersonal stainless steel in impressive kitchens in cities, to country houses where the stoves had minds of their owns and equipment might have been purchased at yard sales, or country auctions, would slowly allow her to rethink her own life, and discover the value of family, friendships and bonding something she never experienced in her life before She finds a surrogate father and an accepting family in the McCrakers, with a bond slowly developing between herself and Margaret Hurley view spoiler The book loses a star for advocating a pregnancy for a single young women who could not take care of herself, let alone a baby To use it as a romantic element in the book goes totally against the grain for me personally hide spoiler This is the perfect foodie cozy romance novel The author is a pastry chef and it shows I was so pleased to find the apple pie recipe in the back and can t wait to make it Olivia was sleeping with her married boss and caused a fire at an important event and flees to rural Vermont, where she ends up finding a job at a small inn that just happens to need a pastry chef And before you think it is a ridiculous notion, I once had to relocate to a town of 10,000 people in rural Indiana and found a job as a pastry chef at a tea room, so let s just say I found a lot to love here It s the dream the perfect job with free housing, with room for creativity, friendly locals who happen to play the same music she learned from her father, and a love interest who is just the right mix of talented, strong, loves his mother, and mystery First snows, baking contests, maple syrup I think this author has a promising future Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy through NetGalley. When Olivia Rawlings, the protagonist of pastry chef Louise Miller s debut novel, arrives in Guthrie, Vermont one September, it s with a weight of guilt and rumor behind her She left Boston s Emerson Club in ignominy after setting the place on fire with a Baked Alaska and sleeping with a married boss twice her age Now her best friend, Hannah, is determined to help Livvy make a fresh start in a small town She uses her clout as the local doctor s wife to get Livvy a job as the chief baker at the Sugar Maple Inn, run by a formidable older lady named Margaret.Livvy sets up in the sugar house with her Irish wolfhound, Salty, and settles into a daily routine of baking muffins, bread and cakes for the guests She gets to know the local community by soaking up atmosphere at the Black Bear Tavern and playing banjo with the Hungry Mountaineers band at country dances The McCrackens, in particular, become a kind of surrogate family for this lonely woman in her early thirties Dotty is Margaret s best friend her husband Henry is battling colon cancer and their youngest son Martin has temporarily given up his normal life in Seattle to help out A love of food and music binds Livvy to the McCrackens, and Henry is like a stand in for the father she lost as a teenager.This is a warm, cozy read full of well drawn secondary characters and romantic possibilities for Livvy There s nothing clich d about it, though Livvy is a sassy narrator whose hair goes from purple to orange to turquoise and whose promiscuous past matches her reputation for perfect macaroons and apple pie I didn t love the conflict at the three quarters point that briefly takes Livvy back to Boston, but it all comes together in a satisfying d nouement.I love how Miller documents the rhythms of the small town country year, including tapping the maple trees in the early spring and a pie baking contest at the summer county fair But I m calling this a perfect book for autumn because of how the early chapters depict pivotal events from Livvy s first months in Guthrie, especially the annual Harvest Festival supper corn consomm , baby green salad with walnuts and maple vinaigrette, goat cheese on apple spice bread, prime rib or mushroom risotto, chive popovers, Vermont cheddar with quince paste, and pumpkin cr me br l e and a boisterous Thanksgiving meal with the McCrackens Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal was one of my top fiction picks of last year, and this is a worthy 2016 counterpart Though not quite as edgy, Miller s debut also shares the foodie theme of my favorite novel of 2016 so far, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler All three of these books capture the almost theatrical magic of the restaurant meal I ll leave you with this extended passage describing the setup for the Harvest Festival Though I ve never been to New England in the fall, it makes me nostalgic for it all the same There is a moment after the prep is done and before the theater of the dinner service begins when I love to escape the kitchen Dusk had fallen, and when I stepped outside, I was drawn to the light spilling from the barn, golden and inviting I poked my head in Margaret had outdone herself The long tables were covered in cream linen Squash colored tapers stood tall in sparkling silver candelabras Fat bouquets of sunflowers, goldenrod, and black eyed Susans stuffed into mason jars were surrounded by tiny pumpkins and crab apples I looked up to see a thousand white Christmas lights hanging from the rafters The whole room glowed.Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck. .Free Kindle ♴ The City Baker's Guide to Country Living ☹ Olivia Rawlings Tem Um Sonho Ter Uma Carreira De Sucesso Na Cidade De Boston Mas Ao Incendiar Inadvertidamente A Cozinha De Um Clube Seleto, A Jovem Chef De Pastelaria Destr I Tamb M Quaisquer Hip Teses De Ver O Seu Sonho Realizado Resta Lhe Virar Costas A Tudo E Fugir E Foge Para O Mais Improv Vel Dos Lugares Uma Terriola Que Mal Aparece Nos Mapas E O Oposto Da Sua Cidade Cosmopolita E Excitante A Vida Rural E As Suas Tradi Es Tacanhas Napperons Em Croch , Bailes E Feiras Do Condado N O S O Para Ela Por Outro Lado, Sabe Que T O Cedo N O Pode Regressar A Casa E Quando Surge A Oportunidade De Trabalhar Numa Pequena Pousada, Olivia N O Fica Propriamente Encantada Contrariada Que Mergulha De Cabe A Numa Nova Vida Uma Vida Que Inclui Tartes De Ma , Contradan As E O Desesperante Martin McCracken, Que, Como Olivia, S Quer Que O Deixem Em Paz Mas A Chegada De Um Forasteiro Vai Obriga La A Repensar Todas As Suas Escolhas Vai Fugir Novamente Aos Problemas Ou Criar Ra Zes Ser Que Foi Preciso Fugir Para T O Longe De Casa Para Finalmente Encontrar Um Lar Uma Hist Ria Que Mostra O Qu O Enganadores Podem Ser Os Nossos Sonhos V Vido, Doce, Arom Tico, Este Romance Gastron Mico Saboreia Se Como Uma Iguaria E Deixa Nos A Ansiar Por Mais Uma Estreia Absolutamente Imperd Vel Louise Miller is remarkably accomplished in this debut novel about a family less pastry chef escaping an affair with her boss in Boston, a married man, and landing at the Sugar Maple Inn in Guthrie, Vermont All of our senses are engaged just by contemplating the premise sweet, salty, sour, and bitter Miller adds the umami ingredient, voice Her main character, Livvy, has the wit to speak her mind and the cooking talent to go with it What she doesn t have before she moves to Vermont are the comforts of a home where people will love her for just who she is.Romances are written to a formula, and some do it better than others Miller manages to include every element of a rockin romance, including a prudently unconsummated sex scene with said boss late in the proceedings that proves her bonafides when it comes to one of thedifficult things to write well sex That this is a debut is reason for romance lovers to celebrate The story was inventive enough to encourage us to believe that there iswhere that came from view spoiler We are treated to the Coventry County Fair prize winning apple pie recipe at the end of the book, though anyone who has baked before knows there is always a magic ingredient in successful baking skill or luck What we didn t get, alas, were recipes for the three tier wedding cake for Margaret s arch rival s granddaughter, Emily White, which included coconut with passion fruit curd, devil s food with rum ganache, and lemon with fresh raspberries and white chocolate cream, all covered with fondant But you can search those out and practice a little until her next novel yieldssuggestions hide spoiler 3.5 5 This book begins with our protagonist, Olivia Livvy Rawlings, a talented young age 32 pastry chef working in Boston, feeling a sudden need to relocate after an especially unpleasant series of events While carrying a huge and flaming Baked Alaska at a large catered event, she noticed her most recent lover, her much older and very much married boss, unexpectedly standing across the crowded ballroom with his wife Surprised and distressed she drops the Baked Alaska, creating a major rumpus and setting the hall on fire Back at her apartment, she calls her life long best friend, Hannah Doyle, who now lives in the very rural, very far away Guthrie, Vermont an imaginary town author Miller locates in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont Hannah pulls some strings and gets Livvy a job as pastry chef in the Sugar Maple Inn The very next day Livvy packs up her bags and her Irish Wolfhound and drives to Guthrie.Miller describes the town and its people lovingly Hannah is very happy to have her dear friend close by again, especially when she feels her in laws trying to rule her household The Inn is owned by Margaret, an eccentric and somewhat secretive older woman, who Livvy is constantly trying to figure out The chef and other Inn employees are also interesting and well developed characters There is a full panoply of townsfolk for Livvy to meet, including an extended family, the McCrakens, which folds Livvy, an orphan with no living family members, into their warm embrace And we too come to care for this place and these people as we happily turn the pages.The book doesn t offer too many surprises as Livvy adjusts herself to the ins and outs of living in a small town where people are both snoopy and supportive We get many details about the ins and outs of rural life The landscape is both gorgeous and homey The prose does not get in the way of the story at the same time, the book is a treat to read, a confection of warmth and good will that will satisfy all but the most jaded In the right hands, this book would make a fine romantic comedy movie Sleepless in Seattle move over. 3.5 A cozy little Fall foodie bookalthough a little on the sweet side I took this book on a trip to the mountains last week and it was perfect for reading by the lake, watching the leaves fall around me and smelling woodsmoke as I read about apple pie and Thanksgiving in Vermont.