- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (13 Aug. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444792253
- ISBN-13: 978-1444792256
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Art of Baking Blind Paperback – 13 Aug 2015
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Delicious . . . friendship, rivalry and exposed secrets, gorgeously told (Elle)
Pick up this tale of five enthusiasts competing to be the new Mrs Eaden - a renowned baker (think an oh-so-glam '60s version of Mary Berry) (Fabulous Magazine)
Warm, wise and inspiring, an utterly delicious novel (Polly Williams, bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy)
Fabulous (Good Housekeeping)
Vaughan's engaging writing is packed with brilliant baking tips not to mention delectable descriptions of the food the contestants create. Enjoy. (WI Magazine)
Kathleen's heartbreaking story is so vivid, I had to check she wasn't a real person. It's a challenge to manage a story with five protagonists, particularly in a debut, but Sarah Vaughan manages it with aplomb. One to add to your holiday reading pile and indulge in. (The Writes of Women blog)
Sarah Vaughan's debut novel is a delicious treat . . . There's plenty of baking and food talk for foodies but it's contained within a wonderful narrative. Sarah Vaughan has perfectly balanced the ingredients of this book . . . Where the baking lends a warm and pleasant tone, this is brilliantly offset by the darker side of the narratives. Each of the stories is compelling. (We Love This Book blog)
5 out of 5. An amazing read. It makes you crave cake and it makes you want to devour the words, enjoying every morsel till it reaches the . . . tear-jerking . . . end. (Random Redheaded Ramblings blog)
The Art of Baking Blind is gorgeous. Not just to look at and touch, but Sarah's writing is beautiful. She pulls you in, she captivates you and you just don't want to leave. Her writing creates such warmth; it really hugs you tightly. She describes the cakes and bakes exquisitely . . . Mouth-watering. (novelicious)
An extremely enjoyable book with strong characters and intriguing story lines. I loved every minute of it. (Bookbag)
Before I knew anything about the contents of this novel I had already fallen in love . . . It begs to be oohed and aahed over, not to mention to be stroked. A lot. And once I started reading, I discovered that the story within was equally beautiful and enthralling . . . A delicious read which I devoured like a freshly baked, homemade bread . . . The lush descriptions of the food made them so vivid that I could almost taste them on the tip of my tongue . . . [and] for all the sweetness of the sugary decadences . . . there is also plenty of drama and intrigue to balance it all out. (novelicious)
A novel to devour. (Maxi magazine, France)
Attention fans of GBBO! If you can drag yourself away from the doughy goings-on in the famous tent, you're sure to love this story (New)
An interesting cast of characters juggled with great skill. A lovely read that deserves to fly off the shelves. (Claire Fuller, author of OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS)
Five amateur bakers compete in a baking competition and discover that the vision of perfect domesticity they aspire to may not be the whole truth. For book club readers everywhere whose tastes range from The Help, One Day and The Other Hand to Katie Fforde and Gill Hornby.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The story takes the form of sections devoted to each of the categories in the competition, such as Cakes, Biscuits etc, with an extract from the book to start it off. Whilst the focus of the book is on the contestants, there are also short pieces telling something of Kathleen's life. I enjoyed it all immensely. The book is a complete pleasure to read, just light enough to be easy and undemanding but not so light that it's sugary or silly. A perfect balance really.
With shades of The Great British Bake Off combined perhaps with the memory of the heyday of the great Marguerite Patton, this book is very current and will appeal not only to those, such as myself, who love to bake, but also anybody who enjoys well-written contemporary women's fiction. Right up my street!
Life as seen through the oven door can be rewarding and therapeutic, allowing release, recognition and the achievement of ambition. It can also warp and damage. Kathleen Eaden is at the centre of the story, she is the late wife of George, a shop keeper turned business magnate. Her contribution to the world of baking came as a hugely successful and much loved book, a Mrs. Beaton for the swinging sixties. Children centric, she enthused and encouraged, inspired and educated a whole generation. Much of her success came from the image she projected, one which as one comes to realise was based on her dreams rather than her reality. Now in the present a group of contestants are gathered to compete for the title of the new Mrs. Eaden.
Spiced and seasoned by contemporary references to fashionable products and preoccupations, this is fresh and appealing writing, hovering just above the chick lit bar. The judge called Dan (a nod to Dan Leperd?) is the dishy potential love interest.
Vicki, a primary school teacher and mother of little Alfie isn't finding being a stay at home middle class Mum quite enough. Cuddly Jenny, a retired nurse from Suffolk is an empty nester with a husband who won't touch her delicious goodies in both senses of the word. Karen from Winchester is the perfectionist wife of a successful lawyer who is controlling her appetite in an unhealthy way.Read more ›
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story of 5 people taking part in a baking competition, sharing their individual highs and lows in the tortuous process of the heats, hardly makes the earth move, but it does wile away a few comforting hours.
The writing is seductive, proving that writing about food can be relaxing and truly sexy if well executed. The author succeeds admirably in this task, proven by my salivating at times with her sumptuous descriptions of the numerous recipes being brought to life.
However, the novel doesn't get a top rating of 5 stars because of how the male characters are represented. Apart from Mike, (the one token male contestant), the men appear as weak, arrogant, unsympathetic, anally retentive and emotionally inept individuals. They all seem to lack the capacity for consideration towards their partners as they struggle to gain recognition in pursuit of culinary perfection. Here the perspective seems to be very much that "the women come from Venus, and the men from Mars".
Of course, this tactic does provide the recipe for antagonism within all the relationships in the novel, and the tale would be lost without these relationship problems.
If read within a Book Club circle of mainly female readers I could envisage some identification with this perspective, and I see a potential for some vective directed towards men as a result. This approach is a bit too generalised and stereotyped in my view - (you guessed it, I'm male).Read more ›
I'm not sure what I was expecting really - maybe something a little less tasty, a bit more of a soggy bottom? It's a light read in many ways - an ensemble piece that reminded me a lot of the likes of Lucy Diamond, but with some dark secrets and serious issues lying just under the surface. I loved the extracts from the original Art Of Baking - the author's creation, but it's very easy to forget! The story of Kathleen Eaden that punctuates the contemporary stories of the competition contestants was often the most fascinating one for me, something that raised the book above the chick lit read it might have been.
Among the contemporary stories - woven together with great dexterity - there were those I liked better than others. I took Jenny to my heart immediately, with her obnoxious marathon-running husband declining her offerings: I also loved Vicki's relationship with her mother. Karen was a little stereotypical for my tastes, and Claire didn't entirely convince me either. Mike had potential - but doesn't really get enough of the spotlight.
The cookery competition - the cookery elements overall, really - was so well done. Watching it unfold gave me the same feeling as watching the tv competition - but strangely, the winner doesn't really matter, the journey (a bit X-Factor? sorry...) is what's important.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best baking books I've read, perfect for fans of The Great British Bake Off!Published 7 months ago by Penelope W
I devoured this book, just like I would one of the exquisite cakes made along the way. Delicious storytelling and loved the story line that pulled this story together. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mrs J Barrett
Add five amateur bakers; sprinkle in an intriguing backstory and mix together in a baking competition. What’s the end product? Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr Clyde
A very good book for the serious amateur bread makerPublished 15 months ago by Mr Nicholas MacLachlan
This book is a real delight, especially if you love the great british bake off. It is a story about a fictional bake off to find a new Mrs Eaden, a famous 60's cookery writer,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kitty Loves Books
This was a lovely holiday read. Some of the characterisation was cliched and predictable, but the story held my attention to the end with its thoughtful depiction of contemporary... Read morePublished 15 months ago by M Donaldson
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Twitter competition run by the author some time back. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Portybelle
Very derivative of the TV programme, but a fascinating look at the lives of the contestants. I couldn't put it down.Published 18 months ago by Andy Dent
Arrived ahead of expected time and looks like a great read, perfect read for a holiday.Published 18 months ago by sally ann ferguson