The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller is the official November 2022 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
I’ve had this month’s sweet read on my to-read list for a long while now and I’m so excited to dig in.
As we head into the final holiday season of the year, I’m always on the look out for a gentle, cozy read to enjoy.
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I think a foodie book about baking fits just right and according to the high praise from members in our group that have already read it, the themes of home and family are perfect for this season.
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our eighth year of book club.
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What is The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living About?
“A full-hearted novel about a big-city baker who discovers the true meaning of home – and that sometimes the best things are found when you didn’t even know you were looking
When Olivia Rawlings – pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club – sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of – the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.
Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired – to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.
With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.”
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living Discussion Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
There are many traditions around food throughout the book, what are some food traditions in your own family?
Margaret and Dottie have been friends forever, do you have a life long friend? How do friendships change when they last for decades through changes in lifestyles and locations?
What holds Livvy back from fully warming to country life? Have you ever held back from something you actually wanted? What did it take for you to realize it?
Food has the power to trigger wonderful memories, is there a special food that makes you think of a loved time or place?
Why do you think Livvy finally accepts Guthrie as home? What is it about this special place that draws her in?
At the start of the novel Livvy is having an affair with a married man and it is hinted that it is not her first. Did this affect your perception of her? How did Livvy change by the end of the story? Did your opinion of her change, too?
Family is at the core of this book but they don’t always look like a classic, traditional family. How do you define family? Do you have a chosen family as well as a family through blood lines?
Book Club Party Menu
For your book club party menu, why not host your own apple pie contest and have everyone bring their best apple pie or apple pie-themed treat?
Not into pie? Don’t miss my easy freezer-friendly apple crisp. It’s one of the most popular recipes on my entire site!
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