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The Baker's Apprentice [Paperback]

Judith Ryan Hendricks
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 8.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

Mar 2006

Wyn Morrison's disastrous marriage to David is no more than a distant memory. Now in charge of bread making at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle, she still works a shift that begins when most people are getting ready for bed. The delectable Mac, sexy barman by night, aspiring writer by day, is keeping Wyn short of sleep even as his failure to deal with issues in his past creates friction between them.

Meanwhile at the bakery, conflict escalates between edgy young barista Cody and pretentious new cake designer Maggie, who has a few unpleasant secrets of her own.

Then Wyn finds she has even more to cope with when Mac suddenly abandons her, Cody suffers a devastating loss - and the bakery, Wyn's one stability in life, is under threat . . .

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; Reprint edition (Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060726180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060726188
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

a warm and engaging story about the group of women bakers producing beautiful bread and cakes that become famed throughout Seattle (PUBLISHING NEWS)

A piece of literature to be savoured rather than hurried...a recommended read for anyone in a faltering relationship who could use both a touch of escapism and mysticism (NEW BOOKS MAG) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A mouth-watering sequel to Judi's wonderful debut novel BREAD ALONE. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You could almost smell the bread cooking! 3 Jun 2007
By DubaiReader TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This was a great book. I had no idea that it was a sequel to 'Bread Alone' and it stood up perfectly well on its own. In fact it reminded me of 'Chocolat' by Joanne Harris.

Wyn Morrison works the night shift at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle. Her man of the moment is Mac, a barman who is also struggling with his first novel. He's a bit of a commitment-phobe and has a tendency to disappear off for long periods of time, writing / finding himself. This is not a great recipe for a romantic love life and it causes Wyn considerable heart-ache.

Meanwhile young, blue haired Tyler decides she wants to learn the art of baking instead of working by day in the cafe.

As tragedy hits Tyler, the landlord raises the rents and the chief cake decorator disappears, life at the bakery is far from dull!

A most enjoyable, homely book - You could almost smell the bread cooking!

Plus delicious recipes dotted through the text. I can't wait to read 'Bread Alone'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing second helpings 11 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
I'm never a big fan of sequels - they generally disappoint and something about them smacks of "writer unable to think up new and original characters and therefore recycling old ones" - this one was more disappointing than others because the original book, Bread Alone, was so hugely enjoyable. Wyn Morrison is back, but this time her broken heart has healed and she's lost a considerable amount of her charm along the way. Now she's seemingly more obsessed with sex than with her baked goodies. The recipes in Bread Alone were part of the plot, skilfully interwoven and not at all out of place - in the sequel the author has struggled to slot them in in any meaningful way and as a result they stick out like a sore thumb making little contribution to the story. That is, if there even is a story - the plot is random and haphazard - a series of events which are just occurring to the main character (and, yes, okay, life is like that, but this is a book - with a story which should be as well crafted as any artisan loaf). Hugely disappointing - I couldn't even finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You could almost smell the bread cooking! 19 May 2007
By DubaiReader TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This was a great book. I had no idea that it was a sequel to 'Bread Alone' and it stood up perfectly well on its own. In fact it reminded me of 'Chocolat' by Joanne Harris.

Wyn Morrison works the night shift at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle. Her man of the moment is Mac, a barman who is also struggling with his first novel. He's a bit of a commitment-phobe and has a tendency to disappear off for long periods of time, writing / finding himself. This is not a great recipe for a romantic love life and it causes Wyn considerable heart-ache.

Meanwhile young, blue haired Tyler decides she wants to learn the art of baking instead of working by day in the cafe.

As tragedy hits Tyler, the landlord raises the rents and the chief cake decorator disappears, life at the bakery is far from dull!

A most enjoyable homely book - You could almost smell the bread cooking!

Plus delicious recipes dotted through the text. I can't wait to read 'Bread Alone'
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slightly uneven sequel to "Bread Alone" 10 Jan 2006
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed Judith Hendricks' other books "Bread Alone" and "Isabel's Daughter," so when I found out that "The Baker's Apprentice," sequel to "Bread Alone," had come out, I rushed out to read it. Like several other Amazon reviewers have mentioned, "The Baker's Apprentice" lacked the cohesion of the first Wynter novel. There are still the zany characters that share Wynter's passion for baking at Seattle's funky Queen Street Bakery: owner Ellen, the cantankerous Linda, the Mazurkoids, and Tyler, former barista and now Wyn's unwilling apprentice.

Wynter is waiting on her divorce settlement and is strapped for cash, having borrowed $15,000 from her mother to become a partner in the bakery. Although the sex is great, her sometime boyfriend Mac is experiencing personal (emotional) problems, and splits for Alaska to rewrite his rejected manuscript. Things at work are well nigh unbearable: new cake decorator Maggie and barista Tyler are engaged in a perpetual war against each other, creating tension and worse. Wynter is left to pick up the pieces, and after Linda retires, Tyler is made a baker's apprentice in her place. Surprisingly, the artistic Tyler proves a quick study. Wynter is offered the chance to return to Toulouse to visit the bakery where she had a fateful internship in college, hoping to learn new bread wisdom from the master baker she once dreamed of seducing.

There are several mouthwatering recipes included (Hazelnut Cappuccino Scones, Tyler's Indian Maiden Bread, fouace aux noix), and Hendricks' lush descriptions of the process of baking, baked goods, and the luscious dinners that Wynter whips up borders on food porn. However, the plot slows to a crawl at times, with too much of the book devoted to Mac's narrations of life in Beaverton, Yukon Territories. The numerous secondary characters' crises and dilemmas never seem adequately resolved, and the ending is abrupt.

Newcomers may want to start with "Bread Alone," since a good deal of "The Baker's Apprentice" is explained in the first novel. For those who enjoyed "Bread Alone" or who enjoy breadmaking, "The Baker's Apprentice" is a pleasing, mouth-watering read. At any rate, I enjoyed the rich descriptions, tasty recipes, and closure of Wynter and Mac's journey.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and boring 30 Jun 2005
By VoraciousReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Man, do I feel foolish. Usually, because I read so many books, I check them out of the library and then buy the ones I love so I can re-read them whenever I want. Well, I didn't do that this time -- mostly because I loved _Bread Alone_ so much that I couldn't wait to read it and I am so disappointed.

To me, this book reads like a jumbled mix of everything that was edited out of the first book. The pace is frustratingly slow and not much gets resolved. For example: the whole divorce issue, which was core in the first book, peters out as if the author is tired of discussing it.

As more of a minor but irritating point: not one person is happy in the entire book. Every employee has a personal crisis (none of which are resolved or moved forward) and the book ends very abruptly.

So, I'm ticked that I bought -- and read -- what amounts to the author's cast-off notes from _Bread Alone_. I kept hoping the story would get better but it never did. My mistake was not sticking to the "library strategy".
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cozy and satisfying read 16 April 2005
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wynter Morrison is in a very good place in her life. She's content with her work at her Seattle bakery, baking bread during the serene night hours. Her lover, Mac, has recently reappeared in her life, to her intense joy.

But things start falling apart, bit by bit. One of the bakery's workers, blue-haired waif Tyler, attempts to make the new cake designer look bad, and ends up damaging the bakery's reputation. When Wynter agrees to take on a bread baker's apprentice during her night shift, she's dismayed when troubled Tyler steps into the role. Soon Tyler is smoking pot during her shift and complaining about having to do routine chores such as cleaning equipment and measuring flour.

Wynter begins to be bothered by certain aspects of her relationship with Mac. She wonders why Mac refuses to talk to her about his childhood and why the role he assumes among her friends strikes her as false. When Wynter asks Mac to go home to her mother's with her at Christmas, she knows he won't come --- and he doesn't. Their own Christmas celebration is a disheartening bust. Needless to say, Mac never utters the words "relationship" or "commitment."

Wynter develops tendonitis in her wrist. With bread making impossible, can she rely on Tyler? Well --- yes, as a matter of fact. Tyler amazes Wynter by rapidly becoming an expert and enraptured bread maker. This cheers Wynter in the face of her continuing divorce problems and her accompanying financial woes.

Mac heads into the sunset suddenly, stating he needs time to himself. His meandering plus car troubles land him in the Yukon, where he writes strangely impersonal letters to Wynter. Mac's hurried leave-taking and his frosty letters devastate Wynter, but when an event in Tyler's life plunges her into grief, Wynter finds comfort in consoling her. Mac's absence lessens in importance as Wynter continues creating a family of her own in Seattle. Evidently, the Mac chapter of her life is closed forever. Or is it?

THE BAKER'S APPRENTICE is leisurely and full of description. The pace of the plot slows a bit at times, and there are so many characters that I occasionally lost track of who they were. Yet, as soon as I'd think, "Isn't this dragging a bit?" I'd happily delve back into Wynter's world of food and plants and friendship and love. In fact, I unhurriedly devoured this feast of a story the way I'd savor a prolonged meal at a gourmet restaurant --- one luscious tidbit at a time. So snuggle down in front of the fireplace with a big cup of tea and a cappuccino hazelnut scone (the recipe is in the book!) and settle in for a cozy and satisfying read.

--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Baker's Apprentice 29 May 2006
By B. Sayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Unlike Bread Alone, I found this book to be the better of the two. Wyn Morrison has grown past that annoying complainer from the first book and into a mature, intelligent, strong woman. I thought this story was great. I enjoyed these characters very much. I am new to Judith Ryan Hendricks but will continue to follow her work.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than recipes and More than a lovers' relationship 13 April 2005
By Rachel24 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I cannot believe no one has rated this book. You people don't know what you're missing!!!! I loved Bread Alone and was hoping for a sequel- when I found out Hendricks actually wrote a sequel - my expectations were high - and Hendricks delivered. I love that Mac's POV was added to Wyn's first person POV, this style brought the characters and their surroundings to life. I appreciate that Wyn and Mac matured independently (Wyn finally stops whining). I also love the symbolism of making bread, making meals, eating meals....This story is a great read.
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