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