Sunday, 19 February 2012

Book Review

The Bakers Wife - Erin Healy

Book description:
If what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, why is Audrey growing weaker by the day?

When her husband Geoff, a pastor, lost his job after a scandal rocked their congregation, Audrey never lost faith.

They decide to resurrect a failing bakery as a way to heal family wounds and restore their place in the community.

Running late to the bakery one foggy morning, Audrey strikes a vehicle. Emerging from her car into the fog, she discovers she hit a motor scooter. But there’s no rider in sight. Just blood.

The absence of the driver is a mystery, especially to Sergeant Jack Mansfield, the detective and church member responsible for firing Geoff from his pulpit. The scooter belongs to Jack’s wife, Julie, a teacher at the local high school, who has vanished…like morning fog.

Though there is no evidence to support Jack’s growing suspicion that Audrey and Geoff were involved in Julie’s disappearance, the detective is convinced of their guilt. When he takes the tiny bakery and its patron’s hostage, Audrey must unravel the secret of Julie’s disappearance and her own mysterious suffering before Jack hits his breaking point.

I had high hopes for this book and in parts it didn't disappoint, however there were far too many slow and disjointed parts for my liking especially the ending which seemed rather rushed and out of context with the rest of the book. In fact it almost felt like the author either got bored and wanted to end it quick or just had no idea what else to do.
The character Audrey has a 'gift' that some readers may feel uncomfortable trying to understand, a gift of empathy toward sick people that enables her to 'feel' their pain (is this even a 'gift'?).
For me this 'gift' was the most interesting part of the story and is what really had me hooked from the start.
The main theme of this book is each characters belief / faith in God / religion and showed how the same religious belief can become distorted by grief, ignorance and self importance for some and yet can remain steadfast and a source of strength for others.
While I appreciate religious belief is a personal thing I feel uncomfortable reading a book where a characters entire life and every conversation is a quote from the bible. To me it's an excuse to not have think for yourself.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. The concept of the story is pretty sound and the writing is mostly sound also. The downsides to this book do not outweigh the creativity and aside from the ending and a few boring parts in the middle it's a pretty decent read.

BookSneeze gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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