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Inspiring,
Beautiful,
Romantic

3 reviews

How to Bake a Perfect Life: A Novel
by Barbara O'Neal

Published: 2010-07-23
Kindle Edition : 0 pages
1 member reading this now
7 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O’Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters—and the healing magic of homemade bread.
 
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her ...
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Introduction

In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O’Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters—and the healing magic of homemade bread.
 
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Barbara O'Neal's The All You Can Dream Buffet.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How would you have dealt with all the tragedies if you were the main character?
What would your invented bread look like and be made from to symbolize your stage in life?
by kurtalicia (see profile) 07/18/11

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Correlation between a woman's life and the making of bread.
by kurtalicia (see profile) 07/18/11
It might be interesting to serve various types of bread at a book meeting when discussing this book. I'd also give a jar of starter for a family bread favorite.
Try the recipes!
by rgrandolph (see profile) 04/27/11
When you meet after reading the book, have everyone bring one her recipes!

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by mamabearreads (see profile) 06/26/15

 
  "How to Bake a Perfect Life: A Novel"by jgrotenhuis (see profile) 01/24/12

 
  "How to bake a perfect life"by kurtalicia (see profile) 07/18/11

Love the correlation between bread making and a woman's life. Very insightful, and thought provoking. Makes a good romantic story, while still showing how difficult real life can be.

 
  "Thoroughly enjoyable!"by rgrandolph (see profile) 04/27/11

To a person, we love Barbara O'Neal's books. And we loved her books when she was Barbara Samuel. All of them speak to us as women, and to our lives. Because the setting of almost all of them is Colorado,... (read more)

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