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The Art of Baking Blind

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,948 ratings  ·  388 reviews
There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baki
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by St. Martin's Press (first published July 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  2,948 ratings  ·  388 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I'm going to gif the hell outta this review. So all you gif haters have something to b@#ch about this week. Rejoice!

Back in the 1960's Kathleen Eaden wrote the ode to baking. Not only did she do that but she put forth that perfect mother, perfect wife, helped her husband open a chain of upscale grocery stores. She was that perfect woman.

But was she really?

Now she has recently passed away and the grocery store chain needs a new Mrs. Eaden to promote their baking line and products. So they are
I recently read The Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, so when I saw this on the library overdrive, I immediately borrowed it wanting to experience more of her writing.

This was a well-crafted story, with very relatable characters - although, they're stereotypes of sorts: Karen, the well-off, super fit, perfect looking woman; Claire, the young single mother, working as a cashier; Jenny, the epitome of the stay-at-home fifty-something wife, who's an empty nester; Vicky, the new mother, a teach
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5) “While perfection might be possible in baking, in life, well, it’s impossible. The perfect wife, the perfect child, the perfect mother? None of us can be these. They’re mere fancies.” The search for a new ambassador for Eaden’s high-end supermarket chain brings five amateur bakers to a Buckinghamshire mansion for a Great British Bake Off-style competition. Kathleen Eaden, the author of The Art of Baking (1966), recently died, and the contest aims to find the new face of traditional British ...more
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a fan of The Great British Bakeoff this was too temping to pass up. I don't think I even read the books description all the way before I was purchasing it. "What a joy" see I sounded like Mary there didn't I ? LOL
So this book takes you into the live of a cooking contest and into the lives of the contestants. What is driving them, who is behind them, where did they come from, where are their hearts ?
I could hear "bake" and see the people scrambling to get their crusts and rises done
Kathy - Books & Munches
I discovered the magic of microwaved cake in mugs. With all the baked goodies mentioned and even the descriptions of how things are made, I got this urge to eat cake. I didn't care whether I had to bake it or buy it, I simply wanted. cake. 

Safe to say I loved the whole setting of this novel, right? Not only because of those descriptions, but also because it made me see the characters in a completely different way. Since the baking competition is only during the weekends, we get to see everyone b
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
My Review: It shouldn't come as a shock that I picked up this book. First off, the cover was beautiful (I adore teal) and it caught my attention right away. Second, it's about baking, y'all! I thought this book was a no-brainer for me but unfortunately I found this book lacking in a few areas.

The book deals with five competitors as they try to win a coveted British baking competition. The problem was that I had a hard time remembering who was who among the competitors - except for the one male c
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Before I knew anything about the contents of this novel I had already fallen in love with the striking turquoise colour of its packaging and the simple yet very effective drawing adorning the cover. It begs to be oohed and aahed over, not to mention to be stroked. A lot. And once I started reading, I discovered that the story within was equally beautiful and enthralling.

Kathleen was famous not only for being the photogenic wife of grocery magnate George Ea
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Art of Baking Blind is pleasant debut novel for British journalist Sarah Vaughan.

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published 'The Art of Baking', her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. A year after her death, a competition is being held to find the 'New Mrs Eaden', where the winner will receive a £50,000 contract to advise the supermarket on its selection of baked products, take the lead in an adve
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Art of Baking Blind is a lovely ode to The Great British Bake Off, one of my favourite TV programmes.

The story alternates between the competition to find the new Mrs Eaden and the competition's inspiration, Kathleen Eaden, the wife of a grocer turned supermarket magnate as she writes her best seller "The art of baking". As the book progresses we get an insight into the personal lives of both the contestants and Kathleen. Slowly the story becomes one of relationships. It shows how a relation
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the past couple of years there's been a flurry of novels published with covers and titles that include cakes and chocolate and cafes. It would be easy to assume that Sarah Vaughan's The Art of Baking Blind is another story from the same mould - or cake tin. I have absolutely nothing against the 'cupcake' books and have read and enjoyed a few of them, however, I do think that as beautiful as the cover of this book is, it could very easily be passed by when browsing the bookshop shelf.

The Art
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martine Bailey
I devoured this in a few days; it's an addictive chocolate-layer cake of a book with a frothy topping of rivalry, layers of emotional yearning and a sprinkling of the bitter truths of life.
Debut novelist Sarah Vaughan takes a fascinating cultural phenomenon - the baking competition - and produces a tale just as more-ish as the Victoria sponges and mini-tartlets it describes. Kathleen Eaden is a baking icon: slim, elegant and effortlessly perfect. Excerpts from her Art of Baking head each chapter
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, kindle, 2015
Eaden and Sons are running a baking competition to find the new face for their baking campaigns. Mrs Eadon wrote The Art of Baking in the 1960's and the book is still very popular. The new campaign will use many of her recipes.

Five contestants are chosen and they travel down to the family home every weekend to take part in a baking competition where the winners release a clip on YouTube. Jenny is an older lady and her children are leading their own lives and her husband has just started training
Samantha March
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a review copy
This was a book that had me invested from the very beginning. I absolutely love books that flip between past and present. While we only got little clips from Kathleen Eaden on her past, they were full of knowledge and really tied the story together. Each competitor has their own unique story going on, and because this book was pretty thick (I received a hard cover) I knew from the beginning that we get pretty in depth with them, which was the case. Though I can’t cook or
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and devoured it in 3 days!! No pun intended! I didn't want it to end!
I love baking and it was the title which first attracted me. I immediately warmed to the characters, especially Jenny and Karen and found them all very believable. The ongoing thread of the original Mrs Eaden really added to the story, and in some ways was the lynch pin of the book, although at first it felt intrusive. Reading the book made we want to go to the kitchen and start cooking! I want more of this b
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A most excellent read, and a surprisingly engaging debut novel.
Women's fiction, to be sure, this story has a ring of truth that will resonate with all women, regardless of their specific path.
Very, very British in style; witty, funny, sad, and triumphant.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you like The Great British Baking Show, you will like this book. The characters are great and they draw you into the story.
The author's take on the show The Great British Bake Off, a show I've never seen, but I love anything to do with the Food Network, so it probably sounds like something I would watch.

I loved the British narrator, and the story o would have to give 3 1/2 stars. The four female contestants - Vicki, Claire, Jenny, Karen - all seem a little bit similar at first but over time you start to distinguish their characters. The single male contestant, Mike, had so much potential, and I don't think he was g
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads first reads program. I wanted to really like this book because I found the premise very interesting, but, in the end, it was just okay for me. The main thing is that there are too many characters and some never get fleshed out or used to their full potential. I would have rather had fewer characters and a more in depth story on all of them.
Alison Clark
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant read for anyone who loves to escape when baking - and a great book for showing you never really know whats happening behind closed doors.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Vaughan has created five very likeable characters in the contestants for the “Next Mrs. Eaden, ‘ although Mike seems like the required male, an afterthought serving only as a foil for Claire’s Jay. Kathleen Eadon, who appears in back flashes, is the glue that serves to highlight each of the other character’s flaws and perfections. The book is lengthy (over 400 pages) but is a “quick” read. You will want to know the conclusion of the contest, and the soluti
Review & Giveaway: When I was about four years old, a neighbor taught me to bake Toll House cookies and I’ve been hooked on baking (and Toll House cookies) ever since. Being a confirmed lifelong chocoholic, I think I ate more of the chocolate chips than went into the cookies but she was very gracious about it. So it was a no brainer that I would choose to read and review The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan. I thought it would make a nice departure from all of the intense thrillers I read.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Art of Baking Blind is a contemplative look at the lives of contestants as they compete in a cooking contest. Each have their reasons for wanting to win—one wants the financial security that winning would give her, other wants to prove that her talent has value, another needs the re-assurance that life can managed if you follow a recipe.
What I liked about the book:
I liked the characters. They are fully fleshed out with faults, weaknesses, and attributes. It’s easy to become immersed in their
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1966 cookery writer Mrs Kathleen Eaden publishes The Art of Baking. It's a hit. A cookery book like Delia's, like Mary Berry's. Every household has a copy.

Fast forward to the present and Eaden & Son's - a chain of upmarket supermarkets - is running a competition to find the next Mrs Eaden. There are five competitors who are to compete in a Bake Off style competition. All can bake. All have things going on in their lives behind the baking. Jenny, struggling now her family has grown up. Claire
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am not a keen baker myself, but that didn't matter. This is a well plotted book that will appeal to women in general and middle class mums in particular. I was reminded of Sebastian Faulks "A Week in December" as there are several story lines all woven together building to a dramatic conclusion. The writing style is easy to read with lots of contemporary references, contrasting with the prim tones of the 60's cookbook which head each chapter. I romped through it ...more
Won this on Goodreads!

A wonderful story about five individuals with a common passion for baking. They each come from different walks of life, with different backgrounds and insecurities. I loved getting to know Vicki, Jenny, Karen, Claire and Mike, who each have their own personality and are very well developed. I also loved the sixth character of this book: Kitty. The woman who brought these five people together and had a story all her own.

Overall, I enjoyed the plot and the characters and I lo
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

I would give this book more than 5 stars! Absolutely loved it. I smiled, laughed and cried my way through it.

The writing style is clever and easy to read. The characters are strong, with real personality to them.

5 contestants in a baking competition, from all walks of life and yet each had something I could relate to.

1 star baker's story that was both heartbreaking and addictive.

A truly brilliant and worthwhile read. You won't be sorry. Worthy
Marjoleine Kok
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. It explores 5 peoples lives and how they came to be in the competition. Each competitor is leads completely different lives to each other, each with their own issues,yet they compliment each other beautifully. I couldn't put this book down...just be warned some of the receipes in there will make you hungry !!!
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. For fans of the Great British Baking Show, which I love, follows 5 contestants as they enter a competition for the next Mrs Eaden, the queen of baking in Britain. Wonderful book it delves into the characters & their connection to baking their lives and what the competition means for them. ...more
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

I was desperate to read "The Art of Baking Blind" for a long time already, and I thought that there couldn't be a better time for it now, when it's going to be published in paperback. I really can't have enough books about baking, or food in general, and this one was exceptional - the descriptions of the baking were full of heart and feeling, and it just taught me how to appreciate food anew. I am also a great fan of baking, and I do this really gladly, and even though I may not follow all the r
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Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction. Her 3rd novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was an instant international bestseller, a Sunday Times top five bestseller, a kindle number 1 ...more

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