Title: The Cake Therapist (Unabridged)
Author: Judith Fertig
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Length of Production: 7 hours and 27 minutes
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Year of Publication: 2015
Synopsis from Goodread
A fiction debut that will leave you wanting seconds, from an award-winning cookbook author.
Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
This review is for the audio version of the book.
I had to rewind several times and re-listen to the book over again to understand the plot. The book just does not keep my attention. If i lose my focus for ten seconds, a new character would be introduced. There are way too many characters and side stories. Thus, in this little short seven hours, it is hard to develop in-depth details of all the events and characters. It was so hard to connect to any characters. The most confusing part of the book is all the random flashbacks to the 1940s. The points of view change all the time.
The ending does feel a little rushed. The supporting characters and side stories need better closures. A few more pages should be added for some character buildings and slow down for the ending to connect everything better.
The only enjoyable part of this book is the bakery description. They are very descriptive and detailed. It is like the desserts are in front of you; it is like you can smell and taste them. How flavors are linked to emotions/moods make sense. I actually had a craving for some sweets after reading the book and I actually baked brownies cause of it.
Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like numerous side stories and desserts. It is a easy read but I suggest reading it in a single setting but not during the commutes to and from work.
As for the audio part, I do not think this book is audio-book material. The narrator, Tanya Eby, keeps a steady pace throughout the entire book. The pace is relaxing and slow (but not too slow). Her performance is ok. Although I think it’s the unfocused of the book making it impossible to follow 100%, her lack of characters differentiation does not help. It would be better if she can use a different tone/accent for the two time periods. Her pronunciation was very clear =).
2 stars out of 5
Received a free audio copy from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review