How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal

What are the chances that I’d read two books in a row about old loves reconnecting? Ramona is only just 40 but she is about to become a grandmother.  Her daughter Sophia, whom she had at just age 16, is pregnant with her first child.  Her husband is overseas doing a another tour of duty in the Middle East.  When he is horribly injured Sophia must travel to be by his side.  She asks her mother if she’ll take in her stepdaughter, Katie, because Katie’s mother, a meth addict, has just gone to jail.

Ramona has lots of  issues of her own already-she is estranged from her family and struggling to manage her new business- a bakery.  Her family owns a group of restaurants in town and everyone is a part of it except for Ramona.  This whole storyline felt a little thin to me.  I much preferred the storyline of Katie settling in to the kindest home she’s ever known, having enough to eat, connecting with Ramona’s mother and growing to love flowers.  There are a number of flashbacks to the summer Ramona was pregnant.  And then there is the romantic angle of Ramona and Jonah.
Overall, I liked the bits about bread baking and the story itself, but I did think it was a little too emotionally gushy.  I also thought there were a couple things that were unresolved at the very end.


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