Author: Cathy Woodman
Publisher: Arrow Books
Type of book: England, divorce, romance, dealing with life, past, moving on, baking, countryside, baking, new business
Year it was published: 2011
If only everything in life was as simple as baking a cake…
Jennie Copeland thought she knew the recipe for a happy life: marriage to her university sweetheart, a nice house in the suburbs and three beautiful children. But when her husband leaves her, she is forced to find a different recipe. And she thinks she’s found just what she needs: a ramshackle house on the outskirts of the beautiful Talyton St George, a new cake-baking business, a dog, a horse, chickens…
But life in the country is not quite as idyllic as she’d hoped, and Jennie can’t help wondering whether neighbouring farmer Guy Barnes was right when he told her she wouldn’t last the year.
Or perhaps the problem is that she’s missing one vital ingredient to make her new life a success. Could Guy be the person to provide it?
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Although the story is from Jennie's point of view, a lot of characters also showed up besides Jennie such as her three children, then Guy Barnes and perhaps her ex-husband. Jennie is a talented baker who put her life on hold when she ended up marrying her ex-husband. She was also very forgiving towards her ex-husband and always accepted him back. She enjoys baking and wants to do whatever she can for her children, even if that means going beyond the means (such as obtaining a pony for a daughter) as well as open her own baking business. Adam is Jennie's oldest son and he seems to take the divorce the hardest. He enjoys hard work in countryside, and also always wants a dog. Out of the three children, he seems to be giving Jennie the most trouble. Georgia is the oldest daughter and she's close to her mother and desires a pony. Sophie is the youngest and is best described as daddy's girl. She likes chickens. There is of course Guy Barnes who has his own past to deal with and to try to move on. At first he is taciturn and stern, but later he comes to enjoy Jennie and her family.
Beginnings are possible at any age.
This is written in first person narrative completely from Jennie's point of view. The book manages to balance the light and dark aspects nicely. The story isn't too sad, but at the same it isn't sugary sweet, instead its a human story about a human woman and her struggles with trying to create life for herself. Kids play a huge role in the story and aren't dreamy bundles of joy. I understood and liked Jennie very well in this particular book. Best way to describe the book is sort of a beach read.
Cathy Woodman began her working life as a small animal vet before turning to writing fiction. In 2002 she won the Harry Bowling First Novel Award and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She is also a sessional lecturer in Animal Management at a local college for land-based industries.
Her books center around the Otter House Vets, a practice set in Talyton St George, a fictional market town in East Devon (where Cathy lived as a child). Cathy now lives with her husband, two children, two ponies, three exuberant Border Terriers and two cats in a village near Winchester, Hampshire.
For more information on Cathy Woodman and her work, visit GREAT BRITISH READS.
I've read the books out of order because I'm scheduled to put up Country Loving first, and this will be the second Cathy Woodman book. I have to admit that I found The Sweetest Thing far more likable than Country Loving. The novel is about Jennie Copeland, who becomes Stevie's best friend in Country Loving, and its about how she moved to countryside in hopes of opening up her bakery with her three kids. This has really filled in the blanks when it came to Jennie's family in Country Loving. For me personally Jennie and her family were lovable as well as realistic when it came to dealing with divorce, moving and so forth. Jennie realistically tries to juggle her dreams with her family and she's human in that she has mishaps and makes mistakes. Something else I liked are that the chapters titled after desserts that Jennie makes, and those desserts do appear in specific chapters, although unfortunately no recipes are given.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Cathy Woodman’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, December 2nd: No More Grumpy Bookseller – Country Loving
Tuesday, December 3rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views - Country Loving
Wednesday, December 4th: A Chick Who Reads – The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 5th: Book Club Classics! - The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 5th: Joyfully Retired - Country Loving
Friday, December 6th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom - The Sweetest Thing
Monday, December 9th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views - The Sweetest Thing
Tuesday, December 10th: A Bookish Way of Life - Country Loving
Wednesday, December 11th: Peeking Between the Pages - The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 11th - A Bookish Affair - Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 12th: Reviews from the Heart - Country Loving
Friday, December 13th: Not in Jersey - Country Loving
Monday, December 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller - The Sweetest Thing
Tuesday, December 17th: BookNAround – Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 18th: Good Girl Gone Redneck - Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 18th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 19th: Knowing the Difference - The Sweetest Thing
Friday, December 20th: Peeking Between the Pages - Country Loving
Monday, December 23rd – A Chick Who Reads - Country Loving
Thursday, December 26th: Reading Reality - The Sweetest Thing
Friday, December 27th: Reviews from the Heart - The Sweetest Thing
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)