I can think of nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate, a thick slice of my favourite cake, and a good book.
In the present we meet our five bakers both at home and in the competition venue. Matronly Jenny is finding it increasingly difficult to make her husband, who has taken up marathon running and seems to be turning increasingly more cruel, happy. Perfect Karen is clearly hiding some secrets behind her polished appearance. Vicki is struggling with being a stay at home mum. Single mum Claire is wondering how she’ll measure up to everyone else, and Mike is bringing up his two children after the death of his wife. So far, so fairly typical – none of Vaughan’s characters seem to have any problems you haven’t seen before on the page or the screen. The inclusion of Mike seems to me to be to balance things out and include a token male (we don’t spend enough time with him for me to really get to know or care about him), but apart from that, as The Art of Baking Blind progresses, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Vaughan has created complex characters whose problems aren’t two dimensional, and who surprised me throughout.
Wrapped as it is in a cover full of pastel colours and swirly white writing, it would be easy to dismiss The Art of Baking Blind as a frivolous book, but props go to Vaughan for creating something that has a lot of depth, and that will have you feeling emotionally wrung out in places. A slice of cake should help with that though.
How I got this: From the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton. This did not affect my review.