Monday, May 13, 2013

The Library - Contemporary Paranormal Review "The Union Street Bakery" by Mary Ellen Taylor

Title:  The Union Street Bakery
Author: Mary Ellen Taylor

Publisher:  Berkley Trade
Publication Date:  February 5, 2013
Genre:  Contemporary Paranormal (Ghost)
Format:  Kindle 677 KB  |  Paperback 352 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Edition  |  Paperback
Author's Website: 
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Mary Ellen Taylor

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Life can turn on a dime. It’s a common cliché, and I’d heard it often enough. People die or move away. Investments go south. Affairs end. Loved ones betray us...Stuff happens.
Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.

Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.

What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.
My Thoughts...
I really enjoyed this book from the very first page.  I have a soft spot for books that center around cooking for some reason!  One of my favorite Nora Roberts trilogies revolves around a girl that cooks for the little coffee shop in a bookstore.  Even though Daisy isn't the baker in this story, this reminded me a little of that series.  

Daisy McCrae has lost her corporate job and now finds herself living in the attic above the bakery that her family has owned for generations.  She is also working in the bakery.  She helps with the baking in the early mornings and then she is working on turning around the finances so that they can actually keep the bakery in the family.  Daisy is thrust into a situation that she doesn't particularly want to be in, but she wants to help her family and honestly, she has no other options at this point.  Her parents are retired and she agrees to become the bakery manager in an effort to turn the business around.  Both her sisters work in the bakery as well.  Rachel and her husband ran the bakery, but when he died suddenly it became more than she could handle even with the help of their elderly bread baker.  Margaret, the oldest sister has been helping, but her true passion is history.

Daisy as adopted by the McCrae family when she was abandoned at the bakery when she was only 3 years old.  She has always known that she was adopted, and for the most part she adjusted to that, but she has always known that she was different.  Especially when she started seeing Susie when she was just a little girl. Now that she is back she is starting to experience strange things again and this time one of the spirits isn't altogether friendly.

When Miss Mabel leaves Daisy an old journal her journey begins.  She and Margaret follow the clues from the journal and other things from Miss Mabel's attic in order to piece together the puzzle that Miss Mabel left for them.  Little does Daisy know that all these things will give her the answers she has been searching for for so long. Daisy learns about her past and discovers who she really is throughout the course of the story.  She reconnects with her family and with more than one person that she thinks is firmly tucked into her past.

This story is full of intrigue but really it's a story about family and what makes a true family.  It's about how some people are just meant to be a part of our lives and they make it so much better.

Daisy is one of those characters that is just not an overly happy person.  She is in a bad place in her life and she feels like it's just not going to get any better and she kind of projects that to a certain extent.  She feels like she is all alone and so she keeps people at arms length.  By the end of the story, though, you can see that she is starting to open herself up for the good things that are happening to her.  I just saw on Amazon that there is a sequel to this coming out later this year. I am anxious to see what happens in the next stage of Daisy's life and for The Union Street Bakery.

If you like a great story about family with a hint of mystery then you will love this book.  There is a little profanity but it's not rampant.  It's really a pretty clean read even though I would place it in the adult category.

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