October 05, 2011
Bread Alone by Judith Hendricks
Wynter is a career housewife that feels something is lacking, yet still feels she loves her husband. Early on in the book we find he doesn't feel the same way. After telling her that he needs some space and things aren't going how he wanted them to, she goes to visit a friend in Seattle for awhile.
When she returns, she finds that she has been locked out of the house and all her things in boxes outside. She flees to her mother's where she spends some time moping and figuring out what she's going to do. When she learns that her husband David has probably left her for another woman, she decides to take a job at a bakery in Seattle that had intrigued her when she had visited.
She loves her job but unfortunately there's still something missing. When her mother decides to get married that feeling becomes even moreso a problem. She varies between her new step-brother Gary who would like nothing more than to share her life and her friend Mac, a bartender in a place near where she lives.
She has to make a choice on what she wants in life. Does she still want David, her husband of seven years? Gary, who has been nothing but kind to her. Or Mac, who doesn't seem to show romantic interest to her but is a wonderful friend.
This book focused a lot on the different relationships Wynter has. She is often portrayed as confused and weak. However, making bread seems to calm her. I think, after describing how her character originally was, that she could have been portrayed as a lot stronger of a woman. She eventually is in the end, but it is a very slow progression.
Hendrick's writing is in the first person, through Wynter's eyes. She includes plenty of description but doesn't make it wordy enough that its no longer enjoyable.
My only complaint about the novel is, after describing how Wynter doesn't really care about appearances, seems to judge people by just that. There are a couple of times in the novel where overweight people are poked at and when she first meets Mac, Wynter judges him as a scary handyman. This is a complete change from when she meets him as a bartender and he has changed his appearance. While I'm not denying people judge this way, it just seems hypocritical to me, which I guess makes her character quite real.
There are several recipes in the book including Pain Levain, Patty's Cake, and many others. Most of them look very good and if I didn't have to retype them out for my own copy, I would probably try to use them. However, trying to use them straight out of this book would be near impossible as the pages don't stay open to where you want them to.