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Eat Cake [Paperback]

Jeanne Ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2003
'A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don't each the whole cake. You don't eat a cake every day of your life. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what's served on the happiest days of your life. This is the story of how my life was saved by cake ...' Feisty middle-aged housewife Ruth Hopson's life comes crashing down around her when her hospital administrator husband is made redundant. As the family's financial problems begin to mount, Ruth must also cope with her sulky teenage daughter and warring elderly parents. As she tries to keep the peace in this eccentric, disfunctional household, Ruth's only solace comes from baking cakes. But what begins as a distraction and grows into an obsession just might provide an ingenious solution to the family's dilemmas.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (4 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743468066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743468060
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeanne Ray is a nurse, wife and mother of the novelist Ann Patchett. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Save a slice (or two) for me, please! 20 Dec 2009
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
This novel was truly satisfying-my only complaint was that the depictions of the yummy treats inside kept forcing me to get up and raid my own fridge for something just as delicious! With no joy, unfortunately.

The story focuses around Ruth, a somewhat downtrodden housewife, her breadwinner husband and (hugely) irritating teenage daughter. All of Ruth's life, both her happiness and solace has been sought in baking- whether it be misery due to her (amusing) warring parents or to distract herself from financial woes or even just making cookies for local bake sales- she gets genuine pleasure from watching people eat her delicious goodies. When her husband is made redundant from his hospital job, Ruth's answer is simple: eat cake.. but not only eat it- bake it and sell it and earn the family some much needed money. And so Ruth's new business begins.

This book was really lovely- it gave me the warm fuzzies as everyone finally pulls together the way a family should! It's not a masterpiece granted, but it's such a comforting story and something to while away the hours and of course, dream of eating the cakes described. If you like chick lit and a happy ending then this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! 12 Feb 2005
By A Customer
A wonderfully warm hearted book. Funny and sweet [literally] at the same time. I loved it and really recommend it. A scrumptuous treat!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  118 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read 1 Jun 2003
By N. Gargano - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I discovered Ms. Ray before I started reading her daughter's books, Ms. Ann Patchett. I'm not sure how I found her, just something about the premise of Julie and Romeo struck a cord, so I read it and enjoyed it so much. Well, then I read her second novel and enjoyed it also, so I was thrilled when this showed up on my amazon recommendations. I curled up with this book and read it in one day, with very few interruptions, and I was so involved with the characters, that by the end of the book, I felt as if I knew them. This is a fun, hopeful read and had some lines in it that I quoted out loud to the family, much to their dismay, since I then had to explain who everyone was and what was going on.
Anyway, read this book when you need a warm, lovely diversion from your life. The main character sees herself in cakes to relieve stress, I used this author's book as my therapy. Thank you Ms. Ray.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously entertaining 9 Oct 2004
By Eileen Rieback - Published on
Ruth is having a bad day. Her estranged father Guy calls to announce that he broke both wrists, needs help caring for himself, and is moving in with her for a while. Her mother Hollis, who already lives with her and who detests Guy, announces her displeasure over it. Her husband Sam announces that he just lost his job. Her daughter Camille is a moody teenager who never announces much of anything. Ruth's family experiences a lot of turmoil as Hollis and Guy face off against each other, Sam starts thinking about a career change, and the financial concerns begin to mount. To attempt to cope with all this, Ruth does what she always does when under stress: she bakes cakes. For Ruth, cakes are her escape from the pressures of daily life. She even imagines being in the center of a huge warm bundt cake as a means of relaxing meditation. Can Ruth's cakes save the day in this crisis?

This may be a story of a family in crisis, but I wouldn't really call it a dysfunctional family. It is a family struggling to deal with the same pressures and problems that so many families do: aging parents, balky adolescents, unemployment, and midlife career crises. Jeanne Ray's novels are feel-good books full of warmth, humor, and wisdom. "Eat Cake" is no exception. In fact, as I read it I felt as warm and comfortable as if I were in the center of that fresh-from-the-oven bundt cake with Ruth. At the end of the book is a collection of recipes for cakes mentioned in the story. They include such delights as "Sweet potato bundt cake with rum-plumped raisins and a spiced sugar glaze" and "Almond apricot pound cake with amaretto." Read this delectable book, which can be devoured in a sitting or two, and then try your hand at one of the cake recipes. Bon appetit!

Eileen Rieback
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet book is a delicious break from life 11 Jun 2003
By Stacy Alesi - Published on
This sweet book is a delicious break from life. Sorry, the dessert metaphors just seem appropriate. Ruth is a member of the sandwich generation; her oldest son is away at college, but she still has a teenage daughter at home and her mother moves in after she is robbed in the middle of a bridge game in her own home. Her husband's company is bought out and he loses his job, and her estranged father has a terrible accident and no insurance and moves in, too. Ruth's way to escape is to use visual imagery; her picture of solitude and bliss is not a mountain retreat or a deserted beach, but a cake. Yes, Ruth visualizes herself surrounded by walls of cake and is comforted. And when the going gets tough, Ruth bakes. Cakes, of course. Every day. Sometimes in the middle of the night, when sleep just won't come. As the family dynamic changes, they all must learn to adapt and adjust, and eat cake. Recipes included. Warning: do not read this book while on a diet.
Jeanne Ray is one of my favorite authors, her books just touch the heart without being cloy or cutesy. Her characters are genuine and people you can care about, her stories are simple yet hit home. She still hasn't topped her first book, Julie and Romeo, which is on my top ten list of favorite books of all time, but this is a very enjoyable read. Her daughter is pretty talented, too - she's Ann Patchett of Bel Canto fame.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars satifying story 29 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
I am a big fan of Jeanne Ray. My favorite is Step-Ball-Change but this is second. Don't read it if you're hungry or dieting. :-) Actually it is, as usual, a good story of marriage and family dynamics. I really enjoyed the grandparents and the teenager. Read ALL of Jeanne Ray's books. You won't be disappointed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 6cd unabrid EXTREMELY SLOW START THEN PICKS UP 22 Sep 2008
By Barbara Lane - Published on
There is nothing wrong with sharing a cake with family and friends. But the author wanted to go into SO MUCH detail on the mixing, measuring, making, folding, smelling, seeing, tasting that it slowed the story. I nearly gave up.

Then the family dynamics came into play and that was interesting. But every now and then we had to put up some more baking and really strange combinations of cakes. I found myself saying get on with the story. I just wanted to know the next problem and how she fixed it.

If you could shorten the story by 10%, really cut back on the descriptions of baking I would have given it 5 stars.
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