Monday, 28 July 2014

Blog Tour: What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy [review]

Title: What Would Mary Berry Do?
Author: Claire Sandy
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 31st July 2014

Tell Me About It
For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this is a story about family life, unfriendly rivalry and flat Victoria sponges.

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson.

*** This is a work of fiction, in no way endorsed by Mary Berry, and where neither Mary Berry herself nor her recipes feature. ***

I am delighted to be kicking off the tour for What Would Mary Berry Do? My post today is a review, but make sure to stop by the other tour stops to see what fabulous things they have for you.

When I received What Would Mary Berry Do? in the post I was intrigued over what it was about, and immediately felt hungry from seeing this amazing, if somewhat wonky, cake on the cover. When I was asked to participate in the blog tour I quickly accepted, and moved this book up to the top of my TBR pile.

What Would Mary Berry Do? is mainly told by Marie, however, there are emails from Angus to his online friend that break the chapters up. Other characters, like Robert or Lucy, also get to share their story in a less official way, by adding it into the chapters rather than their own chapters each.
The story of What Would Mary Berry Do? is told over period of a year, from one bake sale to another, as we see how Marie attempts to make her offering for this sale less embarrassing for her family (I wont go into details exactly but let me just add this one thing..French Fancies), with lots of cake trials, from failure to success, and it definitely made me hungry along the way.

What Would Mary Berry Do? is a refreshing book for me to read. Marie is cynical, which comes out loud and clear in the pages, but also tells it like it is with no holds barred. Marie doesn't hold back on telling us her thoughts about certain aspects of her life, especially her neighbour Lucy and her show stopping cakes, fudges and assorted baked goods. I enjoyed getting a look into Marie's thoughts about Lucy's baked goods, and her own lack of baking skills. I did enjoy seeing the slow change over the course of the book, and some of the cakes made sounded absolutely fantastic, but far out of my own league. There were a few moments were bonds were made and friendships were formed, and I like how they came about. The 'war' between Mary and Delia was hilarious, and I liked how the title fits in perfectly with these 'wars' and dilemmas.

What Would Mary Berry Do? was not what I expected, but really enjoyed it. I thought this book would focus a lot on recipes, baking, cakes, etc, but there is so much going on within the pages that have nothing to do with food at all. I love how these different side plots have blended together, and just like ingredients, an amazing piece of work is the end result.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy cover. Cute title. Sounds like an interesting read. Good review. I'm glad its not based on food actually lol


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