TV Producer Stella Weston is over worked, overweight and under fire. Having battled uphill for years to balance her career with her family life, she is repaid by being put out to pasture on a religious gardening programme – complete with a nervous vicar, his nymphomaniac wife, and 22 stone Britney wannabe gardener, Gerald.
In the past, comfort has always been found at the bottom of her mixing bowl, but when even the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting cannot save the day, Stella decides enough is enough.
However, finding the courage to quit is sometimes the easy part. Can you really turn a passion into a profession? Does more time at home actually give you a happier family life? Are men truly from Mars or another universe altogether?
Stella has to roll up her sleeves and find out – when the going gets tough, the tough get baking….
Well, if you are up for an escapist read of sheer enjoyment and pleasure, then this is the one for you. Poor Stella has worked so hard all her life to get where she is, living that awful life of guilt for either not feeling committed enough at work because she has to get away for the babysitter or staying on for a meeting at work feeling terrible for not being at home for dinner with the family and to make matters worse her horrible boss MJ is breathing down her neck just waiting for her to fail.
After being given the job of producing a religious gardening programme which manages to go spectacularly wrong – but provides a good deal of hilarity, she finds herself at home with no job, her relationship with her husband hanging by a thread and a daughter who has changed alot during Stella’s absences. Thank goodness for a welcoming kitchen, a cupboard full of ingredients and Stella’s amazing knack of being able to knock up a ‘honey-scented chocolate cake with a gooey frosted topping worthy of Delia’.
Stella’s fabulous friends step up and offer her the support she needs by way of take away evenings, nights out, a holiday away and she finally begins to let her hair down a bit and have some fun as well as figure out what she wants from life.
Stella is a very likeable character – she does not ‘have it all together’ in any way at all and is honest about her failings and weaknesses. I like that she she was still an attractive and desirable woman even though she is clearly not a size 8!
So many comedy events happen during this story and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments. It was wonderful to see her and her friends all pulling together to support each other through the various trials and tribulations of their lives and I personally was very happy to see that CAKE was very much central to the proceedings!
Happily, things work out well for Stella in the end, despite all odds and it was great seeing a certain character get their very well deserved comeuppance at the end.
Verdict:This is lovely, fun read. I very much enjoyed it and for all those budding bakers, or just for those that love cake, like me, there are some fabulous looking recipes at the end of the book. Yum!
Reviewed by Lesley