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Eat Cake

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  5,027 Ratings  ·  973 Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Step-Ball-Change and Julie and Romeo-now in trade paperback for the first time... Ruth has always found baking cakes to be a source of relief from the stresses of life. And now-as her husband loses his job, her life-of-the-party father arrives for an extended stay (much to the dismay of her mother, who also moved in recently), ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by NAL (first published May 27th 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2007 Lain rated it really liked it
Before Chick Lit there were women's contemporary writers like Elizabeth Berg and Barbara Kingsolver -- writers who touched at the issues and concerns of women, but did so with intelligence and wit. Jeanne Ray writes in the same way -- perhaps with a bit less intensity, but definitely with the same pen. Eat Cake tells the story of a middle-aged woman who must recreate herself when her life is turned upside-down by her husband's layoff and warring parents. She delves into her deepest desires and f ...more
Aug 18, 2007 Becky rated it it was amazing
Put yourself inside of a lemon bundt cake and inhale deeply for some serious therapy!

I love the feel of this book. The overall tone was calming. I, like Ruth, unwind while baking. Everything makes sense when I'm up to my ears in flour.

One of my favorite parts of the book is that her family is so sick of cake because she makes it all the time. So, she's having this particularly bad day and is aching to shred up her carrots to put into a cake instead of glazing them for dinner. She justifies doi
Mary Harper
May 16, 2011 Mary Harper rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is not what I expected, it was not fluffy. It was a great read, and it made me want to bake, and eat.

Best Quote:

"Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn't, she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they
Suanne Laqueur
Feb 07, 2016 Suanne Laqueur rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-five-stars
Second reading review: like a cake whose flavors intensify after sitting overnight, this was even better the second time around. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

I love Jeanne Ray. I mean, come on, she's Ann Patchett's mother for crying out loud! And of all her books, Eat Cake is my favorite. It's everything you could expect from the title. It's cake. But the best kind of cake. Intelligent cake. Complex, thoughtful cake. Multi-layered cake.

And also because of the scene where Ruth's mother smas
Nov 14, 2012 Jalyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book <3

Brief summary
Ruth bakes a cake for all reasons. When she's happy, when she has a reason to celebrate, when she doesn't know what else to do. So when her dad, who she has rarely seen throughout her life, needs to move in with her family because he has broken both wrists and needs help taking care of himself, Ruth turns to baking. Having her dad move in wouldn't be such a big deal if her mom wasn't already living with her, and if her parents didn't hate each other. Add to th
May 15, 2008 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's not really about cake just how cake saves Ruth's life. My Mom gave it to me, it was a lot of fun to read. For anyone who likes to save room for dessert, this ones for you... "Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always a person at the table...No, really, I couldn't...Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has disc ...more
Humorous and delightful, this charming book is pure cake therapy. If you've ever felt you had a little too much on your plate family-wise, you'll relate to Ruth and her need to find some way of balancing the chaos--for Ruth it's baking cakes. Who knew that something so simple and sweet could also prove to be a saving grace? A wise, wonderful, foodie comfort read.
Melissa T
Jan 28, 2010 Melissa T rated it really liked it
Such a fun, fun book. Definitely one I will buy. I guess it's not a surprise that a book about a woman who loves to bake was as riveting to me as a mystery is to someone else! I started it yesterday and decided that I had to go to bed at 11:30 even though I hadn't finished it. I left off at the climax, and I kept waking up all night to dreams of cakes!

It was also a tender story about family, marriage, and working differences out.

And now, I think I must bake a cake today.

These are a couple of m
*The Angry Reader*
Feb 07, 2016 *The Angry Reader* rated it really liked it
This book is, essentially, chicken pot pie for a reader. Maybe meat loaf and mashed potatoes. Steamed veggies and rice if you're vegetarian. It's simple and easy and palatable. It makes you feel all warm and happy inside.

This is the story of Ruth - a homemaker whose orderly life goes a little haywire - in the way that a lot of orderly lives do. Ruth uses cakes to soothe and work out her frustrations. She's pretty timid and very kind. When new responsibilities land on Ruth's shoulders she has to
We're entering into a new phase here at chez czuk, and I've been a little weepy over it, as it is not only a change in a family member, but a severe change in my lifestyle as well. But it's a change I am willing to make. (I keep remembering that saying that you are an adult once and a child twice, and thinking someone needs to add a bit that you are a parent forever, even if it's to those who parented you. Sigh.) Anyhow, I've been feeling quite sorry for myself, because on top of it all, I seem ...more
Susan O'Bryant
Feb 25, 2011 Susan O'Bryant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: female-fiction, food
"You never really know what's going on with your ceiling until you just give up and lie down on your floor."

That is just one of the quotable phrases from this wonderful book. In fact, it's the first book I've read this year that I really loved. I knew I would enjoy it, because I read Julie & Romeo by the same author last year, and it was great, too. But I wasn't prepared to find a character that I actually had quite a bit in common with. Ruth, the lovely main character, has a husband who ju
Oct 04, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it
Great read, but it bothers me when the characters don't speak to one another. Tell it like it is. The family is as normal as a dis functioning family can get. Love all the cakes.
Feb 26, 2016 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: fluff
Who needs a fun, light, optimistic book to read? Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray came to me via a bit of book serendipity - a random comment on someone's Facebook page. I requested it from the library as soon as I saw the title. I don't buy much fiction anymore, and surely not a book I am not sure I will like well enough to reread. Sorry about that, Ms Ray, nothing personal, that's just the way it goes.

But by page 2 I knew I was hooked when I read this:

Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue w
Feb 10, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this. The temperature dropped to -14 degrees last week and all the kids were out of school, so of course I needed a 'warm yummy' read. This totally fit the bill! The story is down to earth and very realistic. It is easy to identify with the main character, who uses baking cakes as a way to escape life's craziest moments. I can identify with that...yum! Of course the book had me salivating for cake the whole time. :-) I love that there are recipes at the end. I made the c ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 16, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
What a good day to read Eat Cake!
I went with my mom and dad to the
clinic while my mom had some extensive
outpatient surgery. Ruth, the main
character in Eat Cake, finds her whole
world changed as her husband is laid off
and her estranged father comes to live
with her in a crowded household that
already includes her mom (from whom her
dad was divorced and deeply estranged)
and a sassy teenage daughter. For stress
relief, Ruth finds herself going more
and more into her safe place, inside a
Nov 21, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This is what happens when I wander the aisles of my library (like a kid in a candy store). I bring home stacks of books that sound tempting at a glance. When I get home, I'm always amazed at what I've found. I absolutely adored this book. Maybe it's because it was set, once again, in my hometown Minneapolis, but references to our city were few and far between (or nonexistent). I think it was the title that grabbed me.

Ruth is a busy wife and mother who loves to bake. No, that's not quite right.
Sep 13, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
This is a good light read. It was a nice change from the deep reads we've gotten accustomed to lately in our book club, and good way to end the summer reading list. It made me want to bake a cake everyday if I could get away with it. Problem would be, a cake would not last long on my counter. I can relate to baking as "therapy." I liked all the characters...especially Hollis and Guy! They really cracked me up.
Towards the end I could understand how a communication breakdown could happen when your
Linda Robinson
Dec 31, 2013 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took my time reading this book and I'm glad I did. It is a book you want to savor, like the cakes Ruth Hopson makes. You know you haven't tasted anything quite like it before and it's fun to let the words melt in your head a little before taking another bite. I like everyone in this book. Everyone. Even the cranks and curmudgeons because Ray writes with heart and empathy and the characters find a genuine desire to make a family work well together. And bonus round! There are recipes in the back ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Aimee rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
I really liked this book. It was a quick fun read. I loved the main character her thoughts and comments often read true to yours truly. However she was much, much slower to anger than I am. I came to realize that the place I go to for inner peace like her has nothing to do with the beach or a place but much like her a feeling. The characters came alive and seemed like I had known them forever.
I wanted to be hired by her, be her friend, recieve one of her cakes and just like the savo
Beth Pearson
Jun 30, 2011 Beth Pearson rated it really liked it
This is my 2nd book from this author and she really writes real characters with plenty of flaws to go with their good sides. The middle aged housewife "star" of this book deals with her unemployed husband, snotty teenage daughter, live in mother, and a loser, crappy absentee father who suddenly is no longer absentee. I chuckled at the snide comments, realism, and busyness of the whole thing and didn't even mind that she escapes to the details of cakes when life became too much. I wish she would ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: book club
Ruth's family is in a state of flux. She deals with stress by baking cakes from scratch, so she ramps up production. Recipes are included, although I cannot imagine making a cake from scratch.
This is a light and humorous read, but predictable. I am looking forward to discussing it in book club and I hope we can encourage some people to bring their favorite cake to share while we discuss and laugh.

Mar 14, 2015 Barb rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this fun book. Ruth, with a teenage daughter who is a snot, a son in college, and her mother living with the family, then her husband losses job and news that her long-divorced father fell and broke both wrists and he is a long time piano player, and needs a place to recover. And since he left when Ruth was only 2 years old, her mom hates him. Now they all live together.
Mar 26, 2012 Carlie rated it liked it
Cute book. We all need a place to escape to feel comforted, whether it be the beach, or mountain scenery. This character uses cake. She pictures herself wrapped inside one, and has a gift for baking them too.

THe best part is the complete recipes of the cakes discussed at the end. I am totally making the Lemon Cake for our book club night.
Jun 10, 2013 Brandie rated it really liked it
I couldn't sleep last night so I downloaded this on my Nook. For those of you in my book club, let me just give you a heads-up that it can be read in about four hours! :) Now, off for a nap..........
Aug 24, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
This is a fun and humorous book with underlying wisdom throughout. It has a great message: "Live your Passion" which is ironic because Jo just shared those same words with me!
I definitely recommend this book!
Tonya Freeman
Apr 07, 2009 Tonya Freeman rated it really liked it
A quick and easy read with great flow, Eat Cake is fun with hidden depth for those willing to look. Great life lessons...I wanted the story to go on, however, as I didn't feel as much of a sense of resolution as I'd hoped for.
Feb 02, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
not altogether fascinating but a quick cute read. plot wasn't too deep so if you just want to escape for 60 minutes, pick this book up
Jun 26, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Read this for book club and loved it so much I bought it. It is laugh--out-loud funny. Don't read it in bed with your husband!
Dec 29, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and admired its simplicity. Yes, you can tell a story that predominately takes place in a kitchen! This was a refreshing read and I enjoyed Ray's relatable characters.
Shelley Lawrence
Jan 08, 2015 Shelley Lawrence rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
One of my very favorite books! So grateful for my friend sending it to me!! It's a true gift. I loved the writing style and there were so many messages hidden within the storyline. A delight!
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a humorist's look at a women's out of control middle age and family 3 21 Feb 03, 2008 01:49AM  
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Jeanne Ray is the New York Times bestselling author of Julie and Romeo and four other novels. She worked as a registered nurse for forty years before she wrote her first novel at the age of sixty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and her dog, Red.
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“A slice of cake never made anyone fat. You don't eat the whole cake. You don't eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that's safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what is served on the happiest days of your life.” 161 likes
“Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always a person at the table...No, really, I couldn't...Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn't a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy.” 12 likes
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