I’m a multi-tasker. I like to kill the proverbial 2 birds with one stone. And so that is exactly what I did while reading The Baker’s Wife by Erin Healy. I headed to the gym, jumped on the elliptical and started reading away. For me it’s a win-win situation, because my body gets that much needed work out in and my mind is otherwise engaged – perfect. Lest you think that I didn’t really get a great workout while reading this book, I will tell you that because of the intensity of the book, the pacing, really engaging characters, and truly intriguing storyline, I found the pages turning, heart rate up, and an hour and 627 calories burned later, a great workout for sure, not to mention a great and suspenseful read. As I doubt that you are really interested in my workout habits, let me just say that once again I have found Erin Healy’s writing to be quite captivating by giving her characters such fascinating back stories. She artfully weaves her story together a little at a time till all the pieces come together to produce quite a fascinating and beautifully done story.
Geoff and Audrey Bofinger are former Pastor and Pastor’s wife stripped of their positions at the local church in Cornucopia, CA, by a man named Jack Mansfield who accused the Pastor of something that he didn’t do. The Pastor and Pastor’s wife turn Into Baker and Baker’s wife as they try to pull their lives together and buy a local bakery in town. Sadly, Audrey is involved in an auto meets scooter accident that Jack feels has to do with his wife Julie’s disappearance. The accident scene is filled with lots of blood, but no body. Jack is convinced that the Bofinger’s, Audrey in particular, have master minded an evil plot that will somehow explain Julie’s disappearance and so he takes matters into his own hands and something snaps as He seeks to bring God’s justice to the Bofingers.
Audrey is a special character in this story as her remarkable ability to empathize goes beyond a normal person’s extreme empathy. She is able to relate to people with her extreme sensitivity that can’t be explained except as a special gift from God, she literally feels their pain. Also in the mix is a character named Diane Hall who is an ex-con with an interesting story of her own as she just happens to show up in Cornucopia right as Julie has disappeared. As her story comes to light, you can see how the author has woven everyone’s path’s together to meet for a very special and redemptive type story.
I was definitely drawn into this story. Erin’s style of writing is just lovely to read and she paints such perfect pictures with words. I have to say she developed a really interesting villain in Jack, one that views himself as the most righteous of righteous and the effects that has on the relationships around him. Another aspect of the story that I liked was that things weren’t just tied up with a nice bow at the end of the story. Where there is sin, there are consequences and things take a while to heal, but there was definitely a feeling of hopefulness for the characters that you most cared about.
So, work out done, check, great book read to add to Erin Healy’s other great books check. Now it’s time to go and raid my kids’ Halloween stash, because that’s the whole point of working out, right?
Excellent read- 4.5 stars.