A lovely woman from my writers’ group passed me a copy Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray (2003) last week. “You have to read it,” she said. She was right!

Eat Cake* by Jeanne Ray

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Main character Ruth is the position so many people find themselves. She is at the point of her life when her children are about to fly from the nest when suddenly her parents can no longer live on their own and move in with her. To complicate matters, Ruth’s parents are divorced and her mom can’t stand the sight of her dad. Add the fact her husband is unexpectedly laid off after twenty years, and chaos is bound to ensue.

Jeanne Ray does an excellent job of setting up a believable scenario. In fact, because it told from the first person point of view, this book reads like a memoir. The voice is just the right tone of light humor, what you’d expect from someone who manages to see the ridiculousness of the situation she finds herself in.

Public domain photo from Best Running

The Cakes

The title comes from Ruth’s tendency to bake cakes when she’s stressed. Under these circumstances, she bakes a lot of them. It is best not to read this book on an empty stomach.

If you would also like to bake the cakes Jeanne Ray mentions, the back matter has over ten full recipes, ranging from Almond Apricot to Lemon Layer cake. The paperback copy I read also included a Reader’s Guide.

That’s not to say the story is absolute perfection. Although I don’t want to give away details, the ending was not as clean as the set up in the beginning, and the wrap up of the husband’s story was probably the weakest.

Regardless, Eat Cake is a sweet confection that doesn’t take long to read and leaves you with a satisfied feeling. Pick up a slice copy today.