Something about the title of this book screamed “Hallmark Movie!!!” to me, so I had to pick up my own copy and see if my thoughts were spot on. The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, by Louise Miller was equal parts endearing a charming and I’m SO glad I finally read it!
Olivia Rawlings is an executive pastry chef at a Boston dinner club. After she inadvertently starts a fire in the club with her baked Alaska dish, Olivia relocates to Guthrie, Vermont and lands a job baking at the Sugar Maple Inn. Livvy and her dog, Salty, move into the sugarhouse on the inn’s property and immerse themselves in the small town life. She becomes close with her neighbors, the McCrackens, and forms a special connection with their son, Martin. Orphaned as a young girl, Livvy starts to feel like she finally belongs, but will she stay when things get hard? Or do what she does best and leave?
What a perfectly sweet and tender story. While predictable, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living is a lighthearted, cozy read. This one gave me Gilmore Girls vibes…nothing like the actual show, but I felt like the coziness and comfort in Gilmore Girls is similar to that in this book. A feel good read sprinkled with a little conflict. The found family trope is always one I adore and it’s done so well in this story.
Overall, I found the characters (mostly) lovable…even the cantankerous owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, Margaret. I loved the dialogue and the banter. And the culinary descriptions and observations…simply heavenly. Like a warm cup of tea, I drank this one in and enjoyed every single sip. Incredibly charming. A comfort read for sure.
Between the humor, heartfelt moments, and small town charm, this is a book I’d reach for again and again. A well written, warmhearted read full of loss, love, and hope. A perfect story to devour as we head into Thanksgiving, but honestly one I’d read any time of the year. Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a book you can curl up, fall in love with, and read in one sitting.
4.4 out of 5 stars.
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