How to Bake a Perfect Life

How to Bake a Perfect Life In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen Barbara O Neal explores the poignant sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters and the healing magic of homemade bread Profes

In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters and the healing magic of homemade bread Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud But noIn a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters and the healing magic of homemade bread Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud But now Ramona s bakery threatens to crumble around her Literally She s one water heater disaster away from losing her grandmother s rambling Victorian and everything she s worked so hard to build.When Ramona s soldier son in law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia s thirteen year old stepdaughter, Katie Heartbroken, Katie feels that she s being dumped again this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.Ramona relies upon a special set of tools patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe when rebellious Katie arrives And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl Slowly, Katie begins to find self acceptance and a place to call home And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

  • [PDF] How to Bake a Perfect Life | by ✓ Barbara O'Neal
    213 Barbara O'Neal

  1. Barbara Samuel also known as Barbara O Neal is the bestselling author of than 60 books, and has won Romance Writers of America s RITA award seven times How to Bake a Perfect Life was a Target Club pick and The Lost Recipe for Happiness went back to print nine times Her books have been published around the world, including France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and Australia New Zealand, among others Whether set in the turbulent past or the even challenging present, Barbara s books feature strong women, families, dogs, food, and adventure whether on the road or toward the heart A native of Colorado Springs, Barbara lives there with her partner, Christopher Robin, an endurance athlete, along with her dogs and cats She is an avid gardner, hiker, photographer, and traveler who loves to take off at dawn to hike a 14er or head to a faraway land, or curl up with the animals in the garden and read She loves to connect with readers and is very involved with them on the Internet Contact the author You many read about Barbara s books at her main website, BarbaraSamuelbarbaraonealBlog awriterafoottwitter twitter barbaraoneal

840 Reply to “How to Bake a Perfect Life”

  1. From the blurb In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters and the healing magic of homemade bread.The title says it all Add a little bit of Hallmark romance to it, and everything is said and done There s romantic fluff, for sure But surprisingly no martini and stiletto undertones, and that basically, makes this book a really good read Okay, a good read if you believe in real people with [...]


  2. I really, really enjoyed this O Neal s description is just stunning, and I felt like I knew every nook of her bakery house and loved it The characters were lovely while still being flawed even when they did ugly things which wasn t often, but this is life you knew they weren t ugly people They were so real I loved how masterfully she wrote the layers of each character, and that everyone had a journey in the book The book did jump from character to character smoothly, in my opinion , and while it [...]


  3. I don t have the words to describe how much I loved this book It is warm, funny, and entertaining while still being poignant and heart breakingly real It s like a mug of hot chocolate on a frosty cold daywith a shot of Bailey s in it And as with all of O Neal s books, the recipes are a great bonus.Ramona Gallagher is a professional baker who is one plumbing disaster away from losing everying, including her business and her grandmother s falling apart Victorian To complicate things, her very preg [...]


  4. I liked this book very much I liked the interaction between all of the characters and their individual story lines flowed together very well This book also made me think about different parenting styles for different generations and how do we avoid the parenting mistakes our parents grandparents made There were a few loose ends that the author never tied up, but not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the book.Main Characters Ramona the main character an early 40 year old baker, single moth [...]


  5. Ramona finds herself well and truly thrown in the deep end when her daughter, Sophia, travels to Germany to be with her husband who suffered critical and life threatening injuries in the Iraq war With Sophia in Germany, Ramona finds herself looking after her step daughter Katie who has come from an impoverished and uncaring home Over the months, Katie slowly starts to trust Ramona and feel a measure of stability But every time she starts to feel like she belongs something happens which reminds h [...]


  6. Bread I know Bread I love This statement described Ramona Gallagher s life She ran her bakery out of a seen for better days Victorian home once owned by her grandmother Her daughter taking an unexpected trip to Germany, a broken water pipe, a soon to be visiting teenager and a dog needing rescue these were just a few of the things that were affecting her day.The story was told by three generations of females Ramona, her daughter, Sofia, and Sofia s stepdaughter, Katie Normally I don t care for c [...]


  7. I love her books This book follows a woman, who is a baker, through her life I love how it is like I am watching a snapshot of this woman s life I see the entire gambit of emotions from deep sorrow to true love and everything in between The characters in the book go through everyday life and all the challenges and surprises that go with it If you haven t read this author before then you are in for a treat She always writes about some type of cook or baker and then includes recipes in the story S [...]


  8. How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O Neal is the perfect recipe for an enjoyable read Ramona Gallagher has weathered everything from becoming a single mother at age 15 to enduring an ongoing family feud that affects her current business situation She operates a successful bread bakery in her inherited Colorado Springs Victorian home but the slow economy and a series of small mishaps threaten her business and home Her daughter Sofia receives a call that her soldier husband has been badly injur [...]


  9. I am just amazed at how this author writes I ve read one other book by her and I loved it also her character development starts right off the bat and by page 5 you are invested in everyone in her stories The relationships between her characters, the settings, the recipes her phrases and word choices just AMAZING I highly recommend this book as well as The Lost Recipe of Happiness by her.


  10. Some books come into your life at just the right time This one has been sitting on my shelf, but I m going through some rough times now and wanted something that would be a comforting read This was a perfect fit It s not all sweetness and light There are some very sad elements to the book an Iraq war veteran who becomes a drug addict and damages the life of her child, an Afghan war soldier who is horrifically injured in the war But at its heart this is a nurturing book about mothers and daughter [...]


  11. The story had everything that a girl like me loves baking, an awesome dog, a bakery, a bit of drama, some romance and a happy ending Ramona is such a great character She s so strong and compassionate, really, truly caring about those in her life She has some struggles but no matter she s willing to sacrifice for her loved ones And Katie, poor sweet Katie has seen way too much in her young life, but she s an old soul who has taken those bad experiences and struggles and turned them into life less [...]


  12. lovely and soulful you will want to gather your mother and daughter and bake something spend time doing things you love and eat good food and plant something really enjoyed this one my favorite part well, what if it isn t a big mistake what if this is only something that happened, something that s different from the things most of your friends are doing but not bad maybe it s extraordinary, to help you become an extraordinary person.


  13. I wish it was possible to add stars for those particular books that blow over the tope this is one of them Wow Captures the complicated relationships within families, and the fear, guilt, insecurity, and other swirling emotions of Katie are portrayed extremely well.



  14. Generally a cute storyrt of your typical chick lit book I bumped it up to 3 stars for the recipes aloneMy gosh, the recipes look so fantastic I am loving the fact that authors are starting to do recipes with their books someone who loves to cook, it is just something that makes them stand out and go POW And let me add, I have gotten some pretty terrific recipes from these types of books and authors web sites.


  15. This book was such an enjoyable read and to get some delectable recipes for breads and muffins just added to my delight My only true criticism was Ramona s relationship with her family and how she allowed them to treat her I just felt she was strong enough to stand up for herself and not allow them to beat her up so badly But that s what makes a good book, is the author s development of all the characters.


  16. I loved this book Very deep characters and a compelling storyline, both past and present Even though this book wasn t a romance, Ramona s and Jonah s love story is probably the most touching I ve ever read and that s saying something Highly recommend for fans of both literary fiction and romance.


  17. This book was another amazing one from one of my favorite authors Ramona was tough and stubborn but with such a love for her daughter and a desire to help struggling Sofia The romance was perfectly yummy and so was the baking I loved this book.




  18. VAGUE SPOILER ALERT although some of my points hint at story lines I don t think there are any direct spoilers How to Bake a Perfect Life was an enjoyable read, although I liked some elements of the story line much than others I loved reading about the relationships between Ramona and Katie, Ramona and Sofia, and Sofia and Oscar On the flip side, I found the parts about Ramona and Jonah pretty dull, frankly Perhaps because it smacked a bit typical romance novel whereas the other relationships a [...]


  19. I selected this book to fit the bill for a reading challenge prompt a book that is cozy The word bake in the title made me feel cozy, in addition to the image of the pup on the cover and the woman our main character, Ramona in an apron with a mixing spoon Kitchens and baking and puppies are pretty cozy to my way of thinking.This is Ramona s story A struggling mom, daughter, granddaughter and entrepreneur whose bakery is on the brink of insolvency While life has never been easy for Ramona, bread [...]


  20. I loved How to Bake a Perfect Life LOVED it Read it in less than 2 days Couldn t put it down, couldn t go to bed because I was so into it I ve read a lot of the other reviews that say it s typical chick lit, but I don t know what kind of chick lit those people are reading This has some depth and deals with emotion and growth through generations of women Sure it was predictable, but whatever Do we read for surprises, or for the story, how it unfolds, how characters learn and grow Do we judge a bo [...]


  21. Generally, I have a tendency to gag while reading a blurb that talks about exploring the bonds between mothers and daughters , and one that additionally drops cliches like offer a second chance at love Barbara O Neal, however, digs deep into characters and relationships, and she pulls out the poignant and the tough and the fragile And she uses that stuff to tell her story, not the cliches or the stereotypes or the superficial obvious stuff So while How to Bake a Perfect Life is a very, very wome [...]


  22. Barbara O Neal aka Barbara Samuel is a masterful romance writer She wrote the Sleeping Night which will remain my all time favorite However, here in How To Bake A Perfect Life, the characters were a bit too one dimensional, and aspects to the story that didn t convince me nor reach my heart It was pleasant enough, but not gripping.This is the story of 40 year old Ramona Gallagher and her family Ramona runs a bakery and is facing business challenges She has to sacrifice a lot and work hard to sta [...]


  23. Meh This book is too long That sums up the way I feel about it It should have been about seventy five pages shorter It would have been better O Neal is a good story teller The characters she created in How to Bake a Perfect Life deserve to have their stories told And she laid the groundwork for amazing connections and situations that would pull on your head, heart, and soul But they didn t They lacked a lot of proper development I blame the set up of the book in large part If they had made a set [...]


  24. How to Bake a Perfect Life is a standalone novel written by author Barbara O Neal The characters include Ramona, Ramona s daughter Sophia, and Sophia s thirteen year old stepdaughter Katie After Sophia is called away to an emergency, Ramona becomes Katie s caregiver Katie is struggling in life due to the typical teenage years accompanied by a young lifetime of multiple stressors Ramona is dealing with her own memories of her teenage years along with her present day stressors This sounded like a [...]


  25. A fun quick read perhaps not the best writing but now and then I enjoy kicking back and putting my feet up with a simple book The storyline took place in a bakery and the fact that there were recipes for various breads, especially sourdough The book inspired me to promptly bring my own sourdough back on the counter in order to bake some sourdough bread The writing seemed a bit slow at first and was a bit flat at times The middle part of the book was the best in my opinion where view spoiler Ramo [...]


  26. If possible, I would have everyone read Barbara s books as examples of perfect writing And yes, I m aware I wax lyrical I love the characters, the setting, her writing And even though I look forward to a happy ending, I also miss the people just so much when I finish.Luckily, Barbara is into cooking and includes recipes I envisage her trying them out as she mulls over her story Whimsical maybe Okay, but it s my life Anyway, I highly recommend the Hearty Berry Streusel Muffins They re chock full [...]


  27. I love this book I love everything about it, and yes, I realize it s chick lit and not fine classical work Granted, the book gets an extra notch from me because it has recipes but, not just any recipes, recipes that I want to make bread recipes The story line spoke to me I could smell and taste and feel present throughout the book I especially want both of my daughters to read this book, as well, which says a lot about it.


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