STARRED REVIEW
August 2018

A sweet literary treat

By Louise Miller

Considering that author Louise Miller (The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living) is a Boston-based pastry chef, it should come as no surprise that her second novel, The Late Bloomers’ Club, includes a recipe for Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Icing.

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Considering that author Louise Miller (The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living) is a Boston-based pastry chef, it should come as no surprise that her second novel, The Late Bloomers’ Club, includes a recipe for Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Icing.

The heroine of Miller’s second novel, Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, makes her living serving up comfort food to locals and visitors alike in a small town in rural Vermont that finds itself at the crossroads of preserving tradition and embracing economic development. Peppered with a cast of characters that includes Nora’s younger sister Kit, Kit’s significant other (both aspiring filmmakers) and an assortment of working-class heroes, the novel unfolds after the town’s beloved “cake lady,” Peggy Johnson, dies in a car crash. Peggy, whose property is targeted for a big-box development, has left behind a will designating Nora as the beneficiary of her estate—a gesture that proves both a boon and a burden to the cash-strapped Nora, who soon finds herself torn between loyalty to the residents of Guthrie and the prospect of financial freedom.

As Nora navigates between searching for Peggy’s lost dog, Freckles, who fled after the crash, and sidestepping her ex-husband’s overtures and dalliances, she finds herself alternately attracted to and angered by none other than the big-box developer, Elliot.

Readers with a sweet tooth and a passion for dogs are sure to enjoy The Late Bloomers’ Club. It’s a charming tale of life in a small town populated by good people struggling to make ends meet and refusing to relinquish the pastoral beauty of their rural hometown.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Late Bloomers’ Club

The Late Bloomers’ Club

By Louise Miller
Pamela Dorman
ISBN 9781101981238

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