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The Union Street Bakery

(Union Street Bakery #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,005 ratings  ·  389 reviews
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 busines
Paperback, 344 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Berkley Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  4,005 ratings  ·  389 reviews

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Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2013
This was an interesting story idea, and the author obviously knows a great deal about the bakery business. The emotions that Daisy, the main character, experienced as a result of being an adult who was adopted as a child, such as rejection, not fitting in, etc., seem very well done. I have an adult daughter who was adopted, and that part of Daisy's character seemed very realistic. I also felt the history and genealogy that the author used as a part of the plot were very interesting. One part of ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I love stories about family coming together in rough times. This book is a good example of realizing what’s really important and finding happiness in the mundane things of life.
Judy Collins
Union Street Bakery was my first book by Mary Ellen Taylor and it was divine! I have already purchased Sweet Expectations (#2 in the series).

First, the covers are a huge draw –you find yourself smelling the heavenly aromas of the bakery and the desire to stroll the quaint shops and tree lined streets. If you enjoy historical fiction, drama, ghosts, little mystery, family, and romance – this read is for you!

An intriguing and interesting fast-paced story of sisters, family, careers, bet/>An
Jeanne Adamek
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
On the front of the book you can read "The life you want might not be the life you need...". Just that sentence interested me to try this book and it was worth it. Mary Ellen Taylor takes a family and makes one care about them. And even better this wasn't a perfect family...a certain amount snarkiness sneaks in making this a realistic family.

Thrown in with the history, glimpses into the past, mystery and hints of hauntings--for me a wonderful escape. I am planning on buying the next
Dale Harcombe
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.
Daisy McRae is finding life hard. She has lost her well-paying job and her boyfriend Gordon and moved back to the attic above her family’s bakery to help out since the family business is in trouble. Add to this, Daisy’s own feelings about having been abandoned at the bakery as a three year old by her birth mother before being adopted by the McRaes.
Though she loves both her parents, she never quite feels she belongs and her relationship with her sisters, Rachel and Ma
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Union Street Bakery in Old Town, Virginia has been in the McCrae family for 150 years.And it is teetering on the brink of financial ruin when Daisy McCrae comes back home from Washington D.C. Her life is a shambling mix of lost job,lost love and a conviction that nothing good lasts forever. But she loves her family and squares off with a mountain of bills,cranky equipment and even a ghost to bring the family business back into the black.
There is a historical mystery in the mix as wel
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a rather complex story of a woman who has never recovered from an early childhood trauma, despite the love of family. Slowly, through a very complicated story, she appears to come to terms with her life and recognizes her blessings. Family relationships and personal growth are important themes throughout the book. There was much in the story that I really enjoyed, but I'm not sure why the ghosts were included. I thought they were unnecessary and seemed to weigh down the story. Another cr ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
The story seemed promising, but I had two main issues. One, I didn't see the need for the casual profanity. It didn't really fit with what I thought the characters would actually say. Two, the story got complicated when they began to trace their lineage and was difficult to follow (making me care about their search less). Also, I really didn't understand why she threw in some ghosts... seemed unnecessary.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
The old diary belonging to Susie who wrote it around 1852 and that Daisy receives from the 99-year old Mabel was the best part of this book. Other than that, it was a rather average contemporary tale about a 30-something woman who reconnects with her family and tries to find her path in life. The Union Street Bakery itself is a compelling setting. I loved to hear about the hard work of bakers. All in all, it was an okay read.
I’ll write more when I have more time - and if the story lingers.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Loved this family story. The mix of history and discovery of who you are and your ancestors is fascinating. I really couldn't put it down, I had to know! Also loved learning about the bakery business.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Around chapter 7, when the author described the main characters feelings as a kitty litter box I gave up on this book.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Story Description:

Berkley Trade|February 5, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-425-25969-6

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. Unfor
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A pleasant read about family --what defines a family? Is it biology or facts? I could identify with Daisy about not being thrilled to work in a family business, though it wasn't a bakery and I wasn't downsized. In the end, I am glad I made the choice to help when it was needed.

It is set in Alexandria, Virginia and also contains fascinating history elements. I thought that story was more interesting than what the reader may first think the book is about.
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Daisy is a bit embarrassed to be moving back home at this point in her life. She had a very good job, a fiancé and a life she loved. And somehow she lost it all…

When the story began, I thought it was a tale about being downsized and returning to your roots. The author makes it into a larger story by making her main character an abandoned child. She’s been adopted by a good family, doesn’t care what happened to her mother, and thinks she’s fine on her own. But not all her ghosts have
Amanda Snow
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2013
Originally published at

As I was cozied up on the couch yesterday, feeling incredibly sorry for myself, I read The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor. It was a great choice to take my mind off the queasiness in my stomach! It takes place in Old Town Alexandria, where I worked up until November when I decided to stay home with my little guy. It's such a beautiful town, with a truly old fashioned feel, which made for an excellent setting for a story.

The main character, Daisy, loses
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: family-stories
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The back of the book had me sold. A woman going back to her family's business after her career ended. Then you add in she was engaged, unknown to her family, she is adopted and there is a slave girl journal. I think the author wasn't sure where to go with the main character. A lot of it seem to get lost in order for her to come to terms with her mother leaving her at the bakery at such a young age. I just was expecting a bit more, knowing that yes the woman has gone through a lot but it seem in ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I picked this book up because it got such a great review from one of my goodread friends (Thank you, Jeanne) and for once, I was not disappointed. It has emotional depth, a current-day mystery and one that is historical in nature, and all kinds of relationship angles, mother-daughter, sister-sister, girl-boy. Throw in a couple of ghosts and you not only have a good read, but a great one. I could barely put the book down once I started. I will definitely order the next one in this series.
Linda C
After Daisy's Financial Co. does a nosedive and is bought by another her investment team is let go. Few other positions are available in the market downturn. She heads home to the family bakery in Alexandria, VA to take over the management. Both sisters now run the bakery after her parents retirement but neither wants to handle the financials and the bakery is teetering. The major thrust of the story revolves around searching out Daisy's birth mother who left Daisy at the bakery when she was 3 a ...more
There's a lot going on in this book. Bakery, abandonment, business, human rights, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, family dynamics, love interest, mystery. But all of my questions were answered by end of book. I liked the characters and the setting. I will definitely read book 2 in the series.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I'm not sure what it was, but I read the whole book in one sitting on my flight. I didn't skip pages because I was totally invested. It may not be the right genre for all, but I'm going to have to check out more from this author!
Pam Warner
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the book, the characters, but hated the long chapters.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Daisy McRae has returned home, to an attic room above the family's Union Street Bakery. She's broken off her engagement, lost her job, and now has been tricked while intoxicated into helping her widowed sister run the family bakery. She brings with her tons of issues: an inability to trust and a near crippling insecurity that there is something wrong with her. Why else would her mother have left her at the Union Street Bakery when she was three years old, and never have come back? Clearly, there ...more
Laurie Garrison
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers, paranormal
Union Street Bakery is a delicious treat to read. I was hooked after the first chapter. The characters are fun, and the mystery and paranormal elements are very believable. This story has a lot going on, but the author is brilliant in her ability to keep it up beat and easy to understand. I love the way the mystery is opened up little by little. The setting is fantastic and the author adds touches to the story to make you feel like you are right there in the mist of the bakery watching the siste ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is taking place in the present and like so many people in this economy, the job Daisy had yesterday is now a thing of the past. With no money for rent, no savings to speak of and no job in sight, Daisy moves home to live in the family home of the last 150 years.

One of Daisy's problems is with abandonment - her birth mother left her when Daisy was three years old in what is now her adoptive family. On her first day back, a long time neighbor and friend of her mother's drops
Teresa Michael
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is our book club book for this month. I liked the characters and it was an easy read. The story moved very well and kept my interest. Daisy's mother left her at the Union Street Bakery in Alexandria, VA when she was 3 years old and never came back. She was adopted by the owners of the bakery and raised as one of their 3 daughters. Thirty years later, Daisey is fired from her finance job and is back running the bakery so her father can retire. A old neighbor lady leaves Daisy a journal writt ...more
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
As I was reading this book I had to stop a couple of times and re read a sentence to make sure I had not read it wrong. I have never read a book that had so many grammatical errors with past tense/present tense and wrong words. that was really strange. did anyone actually edit this book? other than that I loved the story idea. I felt, as many other readers did, that the family generations didn't quite fit in the time line. Aside from that, I liked the idea and premise of the story. I loved the h ...more
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The book should have been really good. It was ok. Another story about someone who doesn't feel loved and so, despite all reassurances from her adoptive family (for 30 years) her ex-boyfriend, she does some whining. She's lost her fast-track job and has to go back to her family's bakery. And an old neighbor, on her death, leaves the young woman a diary from the Civil War period. Her oldest adopted sister is a history buff, and together they discover just how the diary is linked to their family--i ...more
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this was an enjoyable book (it was a reader's choice from the library). I liked the little story within a story and liked that it didn't go too deep to distract from the main story. I would've rated this book a 4 star rating but just couldn't with the bad language. What was really annoying about the bad language is it totally didn't fit with the story. It was completely unnecessary (as it always is) but almost like the author was trying to act cool by throwing in a bad word every now a ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
interesting mystery that is not a murder mystery. three sisters return to the family bakery to try to make it continue after the retirement of dad. each sister has an issue. one wants to be would rather be a history prof and one just got laid off from a financial corp. the financial gal is adopted and the attic room she lives in is haunted. she get a journal from a lady who prompty dies. all of these comes together rather nicely
again, issues with language. there is no reason for
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A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, and its past is evident in her contemporary women's fiction, from her first The Union Street Bakery, set in Alexandria, to her latest, Spring House, which debuts July 9th and takes place on the state’s Eastern Shore.
In Spring House and her prior novels, Mary Ellen’s protagonists search for their place in the world. They

Other books in the series

Union Street Bakery (2 books)
  • Sweet Expectations (Union Street Bakery #2)