About Baker’s Blues
Publisher: Chien Bleu Press
In Wyn Morrison’s world a 5 AM phone call usually means problems at her bakery—equipment trouble or a first shift employee calling in sick—annoying but mundane, fixable. But the news she receives on a warm July morning is anything but mundane. Or fixable.
Mac, her ex-husband, is dead.
Ineligible for widowhood, Wyn is nonetheless shaken to her core as she discovers that the fact of divorce offers no immunity from grief. Friends and family are bewildered by her spiral into sadness, Mac’s daughter Skye blames her for his death.
For the last several years Wyn has been more businesswoman than baker, leaving the actual bread making to others. Now, as she takes up her place in the bread rotation once more, she will sift through her memories, coming to terms with Mac and his demons, with Skye’s anger, and with Alex, who was once more than a friend. Soon she will re-learn the lessons of bread that she first discovered at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle…bread rises, pain fades, the heart heals, and the future waits.
Buy, read, and discuss Baker’s Blues
.Judith Ryan Hendricks was born in San Jose, California, when Silicon Valley was the Santa Clara Valley, better known for orchards than for computer chips.
Armed with a degree in journalism, she worked as a journalist, copywriter, computer instructor, travel agent, waitress and baker before turning to fiction writing. Her experiences at the McGraw Street Bakery in Seattle led to her first novel, Bread Alone and the sequel, The Baker’s Apprentice.
A life-long infatuation with the Southwest provided inspiration for Isabel’s Daughter and her fourth book, The Laws of Harmony. Hendricks’ fiction has been translated into 12 languages and distributed in more than 16 countries worldwide.
Her nonfiction has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle and Tiny Lights, A Journal of Personal Essay, Grand Gourmet in Italy and The London Sunday Express. Her short fiction has appeared in Woman’s Weekly in Britain and AMERICAN GIRLS ON THE TOWN, an anthology, in the U.S. and U.K.
She lives in New Mexico with husband Geoff and dog Blue.
Connect with Judi at her website, judihendricks.com
I’m not going to lie: when it comes to Judith Ryan Hendricks, I’m an unabashed fangirl. So much of what she writes speaks to me, and it’s because of her that I started experimenting with baking bread again just after reading her first novel Bread Alone.
Baker’s Blues is the second sequel to that first novel, and our protagonist, Wynter (Wyn) has matured in this book. She seems much more grounded and centered, even as she’s dealing with major life events, for this book opens with the off-camera death of Mac (the lover, then husband, then ex-husband she met in the first book) and the family drama that comes with it, much of which is embodied in his adult daughter Skye.
As Wyn has matured, so has Hendricks’s writing. Always full of imagery, always replete with splendid, dimensional characterization, in Baker’s Blues we see that the author, like her character, is ‘simplified’ – honed down to the most essential words and phrases.
The result is a reading experience that’s just luscious. The dialogue sounds completely true-to-life, and I was really impressed by the way Hendricks conveys so much with body language. The prickly don’t-touch-me of Skye and Wyn’s inner battle to reach out or stay safely within herself are both particularly notable.
Where Hendricks’s writing soars is when food – especially bread – enter the story. If her first novel bordered on ‘food porn,’ this one is more a sumptuous feast: elegant, perfectly balanced, and incredibly satisfying.
But then, those words could be used to describe Baker’s Blues as a whole, as well.
Goes well with bread, cheese, olives and/or raisins, and a glass of wine….what else?
Monday, August 3rd: Farmgirl Fare – Review & A Conversation with the Author
Monday, August 3rd: Thoughts on This and That
Tuesday, August 4th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, August 4th: Jorie Loves a Story – guest post
Wednesday, August 5th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 6th: Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, August 7th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, August 10th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, August 12th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, August 12th: Time 2 Read
Friday, August 14th: Walking with Nora
Monday, August 17th: Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, August 18th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, August 20th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, August 24th: girlichef
Tuesday, August 25th: BookNAround
Wednesday, August 26th: Bell Book and Candle
Thursday, August 27th: Thoughts from an Evil Overlord