The sequel to Judith Ryan Hendricks' absorbing debut novel, Bread Alone
Having found her calling, Wynter Morrison is blissful about her new career in Seattle as a baker -- cherishing the long days spent making bread and the comforting rhythms of the Queen Street Bakery. Still, she struggles with the legacy of her failed marriage and with her new boyfriend Mac's reluctance to share his mysterious past. When Mac abruptly leaves Seattle, Wyn again feels abandoned and betrayed, at least until intimate letters arrive in which Mac at last reveals his deepest secrets. But the more she learns about her absent lover, the more Wyn discovers about herself -- and when tragedy threatens, she will have to decide if there is a place for Mac in this new life she has made.
Bread remains a significant metaphor for life in Hendricks's warm and savory if somewhat predictable sequel to her debut novel, Bread Alone (2001). In the fall of 1989, Wynter Morrison, now a full partner in Seattle's funky Queen Street Bakery, is still waiting for her divorce settlement to become final. The former L.A. socialite, empowered by the lessons she's learned working with bread, takes on a new responsibility: teaching Tyler Adler, an angry ex-cheerleader, about the joys and perils of baking. Meanwhile, Wyn's relationship with bartender Mac McLeod, a frustrated writer, is in trouble: "Throw some sex into the mix and it's like putting too much yeast in bread. It's all very fizzy and light and wonderful, but then it rises too high and can't support its own weight and the whole thing falls flat." Then Mac suddenly takes off, retreating to a small town where he struggles to overcome writer's block and deal with an old tragedy that has affected his romance with Wyn. When Mac returns, Wyn faces a future that might not include bread baking, and the couple learns that a recipe for life without love is totally useless. Bakers will welcome the recipes (such as for Capuccino Hazelnut Scones) that Hendricks includes.