I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Judith Fertig’s debut novel The Cake Therapist.
Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
This story is a perfect mixture of two generations, sweets and recognizing your senses with your emotions. It’s a complete blend made into one whole-hearted story.
I was impressed that this was the author’s debut fiction novel, and usually writes cookbooks. Having loved to bake myself, I was able to connect with the character. It feels like you want to live in her quaint little hometown of Millcreek Valley and stop in Rainbow Cake every day.
The Cake Therapist is light, easy reading, and enjoyable. Perfect for the last month of summer.
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I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.