Review of “The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living” by Louise Miller


Olivia (“Livvy”) Rawlings, 32, leaves Boston to stay with her BFF Hannah in Guthrie, Vermont after having botched up her job and her life, and because her usual response to trouble is to run from it. Livvy is an award-winning pastry chef, so Hannah is able to arrange for Livvy to get a job at the Sugar Maple Inn. Her new boss Margaret seems like a cold woman, but Livvy learns to appreciate her nonetheless, as well as a local man, Marty McCracken and his warm, sprawling family. She also learns to love the gorgeous woodsy setting. But then something goes wrong and once again she runs.

Woven into the plot are many mouth-watering descriptions of meals, as well as Livvy’s ongoing tweaking of a recipe for a prize-winning apple pie (the recipe for which is included at the end).

The supporting characters in this book are lovely, but seemed a little too forgiving of Livvy to be realistic. While she has many good qualities, she is also irresponsible and immature, and it didn’t seem to me like leaving everyone in the lurch as she continually does would be so totally forgivable by everyone.

Nevertheless, the story has a lot of charm, and is a bit like reading food porn, which of course is always appealing to me.

"Sugar-Kissed Apple Pie" via

“Sugar-Kissed Apple Pie” via

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Viking Press, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016


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14 Responses to Review of “The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living” by Louise Miller

  1. Care says:

    It’s always fun to casually stop by only to find you have pie for me!

  2. Mae says:

    Curious how you picked out this novel? I think you convinced me to skip it.

    best… mae at

    • Generally if I see a novel out that has a focus on food, cooking, recipes, and the like, I am apt to read it, simply because of my love for the subject matter!

  3. Tina says:

    Good morning! I also li,e books with recipes or food mentions throughout. I think I will put this on my to-read list. That is certainly a lovely slice of pie, I’d be all over that.

  4. Beth F says:

    I thought this was — as you said — charming. Yeah, there were flaws in the book, but it was fun escape.

  5. jama says:

    Drooling at the thought of apple pie. Sounds like an enjoyable escapist read, nothing wrong with that. 🙂

  6. Vicki says:

    I too love books with a food theme and if there are recipes that’s even better. I’ll see if my library has this.

  7. Nan says:

    As I began reading, I thought this was a memoir. Even with your reservations about the book, I still think it is one I’d like. Have you read the Gray Whale Inn mystery series? I love those books. Lots of recipes.

  8. Claudia says:

    I will probably read, as you mention the food alone:) So, did you try the apple pie, and how was it?

    • I did not try the apple pie, although I asked a friend to make it for me, but we could not get exactly the same kind of apples. I’m hoping now that it is apple season I can do a better job finding good apples.

  9. Perhaps not for me either. Have a good week. Cheers

  10. Marg Bates says:

    I could really do with apple pie!!

  11. I enjoy “foodie” books, I will have to keep a look out for this one.

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