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The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  15,632 ratings  ·  2,338 reviews
A full-hearted novel about a big-city baker who discovers the true meaning of home—and that sometimes the best things are found when you didn’t even know you were looking

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Penguin Books (first published August 9th 2016)
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Louise Miller Hello Joan! Apologies for taking so long to respond--I just saw this question!
I'm sorry that bugged you. You might be surprised to learn how little c…more
Hello Joan! Apologies for taking so long to respond--I just saw this question!
I'm sorry that bugged you. You might be surprised to learn how little chefs can make, even in a large city (even if they are written up. And the reader who responded to the question is right--Boston has become very expensive to live in. But mainly, Livvy isn't a very responsible person at the beginning of the novel. Although it's only implied, I've always pictured her very loose with her money--not keeping track, spending it spontaneously, throwing money at problems, etc. I hope that's helpful!(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  15,632 ratings  ·  2,338 reviews

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This book was just what the doctor ordered after a number of dark mysteries and psychological thrillers! It's a lovely summer read with likeable characters and did I mention there's pie? Boston baker, Livvy, makes a reluctant move to the Vermont countryside, where she takes up a position as baker for the Sugar Maple Inn, little knowing that its owner, Margaret, has other plans for her. There is some romance, a little mystery, but mostly this is a story about friendship and family. It's not chees ...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 When Livvy, the pastry chef at an inclusive Boston dining club, drops a lit baked Alaska setting the room on fire, she runs to Vermont the safest place and person she knows. Her best friend Hannah. Hannah quickly finds her a position at a gorgeous inn, called Sugar Maple, located in the Vermont countryside.

The descriptions of the desserts will have you drool, the food, entice, the beautiful setting and family atmosphere , envious and the banjo music and square dancing, tapping your feet. Sti
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Livvy Rawlings is a pastry chef at an exclusive restaurant in Boston called the Emerson Club. One evening while serving a flambe dessert, she accidently sets the building on fire. Out of job and needing money, she moves in with with her best friend in Vermont. Eventually, she finds herself a job as a baker at a small inn. The owner’s intention is to utilize Livvy’s culinary skills to win a pie contest.

Livvy begins to settle into her life and guests are pleased with her baking. She develops a clo
I had to read the first sentence in the book three times.
The night I lit the Emerson Club on fire had been perfect for making meringue.
Each time I read it, I giggled and called out 'What?!' And then I started laughing. That's what I do in dumbfounding astonishment. And I liked the feeling of the book on the spot.

What a great way of starting out a book and setting the tone for what turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing, no-brainer, good read.

Our protagonist was orphaned at the age of sixtee
What a delicious, fun read! I was hooked by the blub on this one after I read 'pastry chef extraordinaire'. If it has anything to do with food, I'm going to read it. And if it's baking....come on.

Livvy is the pastry chef extraordinaire, who is having a rough go of it. Her parents are gone and she seems a bit lost. After a mishap at her current place of employment, she travels a few hours to visit her friend and find comfort, but instead, she finds a job as the head pasty chef at a Vermont resor
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is the perfect foodie cozy romance novel. The author is a pastry chef and it shows; I was so pleased to find the apple pie recipe in the back and can't wait to make it.

Olivia was sleeping with her married boss and caused a fire at an important event and flees to rural Vermont, where she ends up finding a job at a small inn that just happens to need a pastry chef. And before you think it is a ridiculous notion, I once had to relocate to a town of 10,000 people in rural Indiana and found a j
When Olivia Rawlings, the protagonist of pastry chef Louise Miller’s debut novel, arrives in Guthrie, Vermont one September, it’s with a weight of guilt and rumor behind her. She left Boston’s Emerson Club in ignominy after setting the place on fire with a Baked Alaska and sleeping with a married boss twice her age. Now her best friend, Hannah, is determined to help Livvy make a fresh start in a small town. She uses her clout as the local doctor’s wife to get Livvy a job as the chief baker at th ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise Miller is remarkably accomplished in this debut novel about a family-less pastry chef escaping an affair with her boss in Boston, a married man, and landing at the Sugar Maple Inn in Guthrie, Vermont. All of our senses are engaged just by contemplating the premise: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Miller adds the umami ingredient, voice. Her main character, Livvy, has the wit to speak her mind and the cooking talent to go with it. What she doesn’t have before she moves to Vermont are the c ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book begins with our protagonist, Olivia “Livvy” Rawlings, a talented young (age 32) pastry chef working in Boston, feeling a sudden need to relocate after an especially unpleasant series of events. While carrying a huge and flaming Baked Alaska at a large catered event, she noticed her most recent lover, her much older and very much married boss, unexpectedly standing across the crowded ballroom with his wife. Surprised and distressed she drops the Baked Alaska, creating a major rump
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. A cozy little Fall foodie book...although a little on the sweet side. I took this book on a trip to the mountains last week and it was perfect for reading by the lake, watching the leaves fall around me and smelling woodsmoke as I read about apple pie and Thanksgiving in Vermont.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I already put on five pounds just from reading this, my first note on The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living reads.

To bake or not to bake, that is the question. Then again, what’s the worst that could happen? Well, you could set the room on fire…

That is how The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller begins. We are introduced to the main character, Olivia Rawlings, mid-catastrophe. Olivia is a well-known baker, a pastry chef extraordinaire, who seems to love, live and breathe her
Cindy Burnett
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 stars

I loved this book from beginning to end! The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living is chock full of fabulous characters and great story lines – I did not want it to end. I would love to spend some time in Guthrie, Vermont at the Sugar Maple Inn with Margaret, Al and Olivia eating all of the wonderful food that Louise Miller writes about in this great novel. Miller also throws in banjos and fiddles and some contra dances, and a great story about finding one’s own version of family emerges
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
All of my reviews can be found on

This was a really fantastic book to listen to, I’m sure it was just as delightful to read, but there was something special about the audio version of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. The narrator was amazing, she really brought the characters to life and I can still clearly hear her melodic and pleasant voice in my head days after finishing the book.

My favorite part about this book was the gorgeous descriptions of the food that Livvy
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just so... *throws up hands* heterosexual? Heteronormative? I don't know. Something where the only possible happy ending seems to be to move to the country, bake, get married, and have lots of babies (admittedly not in that order).

Like: a lot of those things seem really nice to me, but put all together, wrapped up in a happy ending's neat little bow -- what a bummer.

This is well-written, though, and the food sounds yummy.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 Stars
Apple pie, Sugar Maple Inn, countryside Vermont....a charming, curl-up with coffee on the couch delight!
4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up to 5.

This is the perfect cozy foodie small town romance. Seriously, delicious food + banjos + small town shenanigans? In New England?!?!? I feel like this book was written for me. My heart felt warm every time I read it, and I looked forward to getting back to it every time. If you like Gilmore Girls (and who doesn't like Gilmore Girls?!?), definitely check this one out!

The characters drive the bus here, but it's certainly not just a character study. Loved the Ne
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is exactly the type of book I needed to wrap up my reading year. It's sweet, cheery, filled with recipes to make my mouth water, and pure brain candy.

Olivia "Livvy" Rawlings is a pastry chef at a prestigious club in Boston when her dessert lights on fire and burns the building down. She does what she does best-runs away. She heads to Guthrie, VT to hide out with her bestie Hannah and takes a job at the Sugar Maple Inn (YES, this inn is everything you want it to be). She lives in the sugar h
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
This was the perfect small town cozy read for this holiday season (along with being for any season as it isn't specific to Christmas). I'm going to make the comparison that many have also noted: the setting, the writing, and the story captured the coziness similar to the show "Gilmore Girls" while having a drastically different storyline. The main character is almost a combination/hybrid of Lorelai and Suki (which I loved) and there are other characters that share some personalities and characte ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small town life isn't always easy, especially when you're new in town and the subject of gossip. And when your hair color starts with "Manic Panic," you definitely stand out. That's what it's like for Livvy when she leaves Boston to stay with her best friend in Guthrie, Vermont. Soon she finds herself with a new job and a living space to go along with it. While some people make her feel like she was meant to live there, other people have ways of making her feel like she doesn't belong.

I absolut
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
With a nod towards Alice Clayton's Hudson Valley series, this is a comforting taste of small town America. Loved it!
I finally got to read it for review and it was nothing like I expected. I was thinking along the lines of contemporary woman’s fiction. So I was thrilled when it was actually a romance story with plenty of depth and character.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller reminds me so much of the Hudson Valley series by Alice Clayton – a fu
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

First off, do not read this when hungry! Wonderful descriptions of different desserts will have you drooling on your kindle. And if you're into baking, you'll learn all sorts of secrets and be rewarded with a full recipe at the end. And as someone who has always had a soft spot in her heart for bluegrass music, this book also hit home with all the discussions of banjo tunes.

This is definitely women’s literature, usually not my favorite genre. But I needed a break from mysteries and this fit the
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This one is a charmer of a book. As a lover of Vermont, the setting alone was a deal sealer for me. The descriptions of the baked goods created... mouth watering and inspiring to the home baker who aspires to baking greatness. The romance was sweet. All in all, a cozy read that provided pure entertainment.
Narration 5 stars
I am so glad I finally got to this book, it was of my to be read books for too long. I originally picked it by title alone, and never read the blurb. This has proven to be a good method of picking books for me so far. I loved this feel good, great characters with real problems story.
Olivia, works in Boston for a major restaurant where she has relations with the married boss. Her days are numbered when she sets fire to the restaurant and realizes she may not be where she
Sian Lile-Pastore
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this as someone mentioned that it was like Gilmore Girls, Baby Boom and Waitress. These are three of my favourite things. and yeah, it is like them! the author is a pastry chef so there are loads of cosy baking references and this is such an easy fun read about finding a home, falling in love, making pie etc etc. I think the author tries to make the main character a bit edgy by getting her to drink whisky, wear a Clash tshirt and dye her hair with manic panic, but its not fooling anyone ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a cute book! I really loved this endearing story about family, love and baking.❤️
There's a reason I don't usually read books deemed as 'chick lit' because they tend to be more chick than lit as in mostly mooning over boys and other cliche behaviors that make me despise my own gender at times.

I picked up The City Baker's Guide to Country Living because I love to eat, knowing full well what I was getting myself into so I have no one to blame but myself for not liking this book.

In my defense, I love to eat. Mostly carbs and sweets.

The good!: SWEETS GLORIOUS SWEETS!!! (Sung to
Disclaimer: Do not read this if you are trying to eat healthy and have no self control. Because you are going to want eat EVERYTHING! You have been warned.

I really, really enjoyed this one. I got super attached to Henry, (view spoiler) and many of the other characters were well drawn as well.

This might have been a 5 star book if only the reunion scene at the end had been a little more developed. I LOVE a good reunion scene and I was excitedly waiting f
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a delightful read. It is meant to be devoured in one sitting, on a rainy or snowy day, supplied with an endless pot of tea and innumerable sweets. I would now like to move to the country, become a pastry chef, work at an inn and romp in the snow. Despite it being June.
What a wonderful heartwarming story! Loved every minute of it! A solid 5 stars :)

Reread November 2022:
This was just as wonderful the second time! If you love the country, baking or music you need to read this.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had a lot of good feels. Set mainly in an inn in Vermont, the story was full of baking details, farm settings, good family get togethers, etc. My warning would be that if you are on a diet or at least not wanting to put on weight, you might want to skim some of the menu planning and baking descriptions, although they were excellent. I really enjoyed this one. It was exactly what I needed right now.
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Laurel County Pub...: December 2021 3 10 Dec 15, 2021 03:29AM  
Play Book Tag: The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Loiuse Miller-4 stars 2 19 Nov 04, 2018 12:45PM  

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Louise Miller, a pastry chef and writer living in Boston, MA, is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING and THE LATE BLOOMERS' CLUB. Louise is an art school dropout, an amateur flower gardener, an old-time banjo player, an obsessive moviegoer, and a champion of old dogs.

You can find Louise posting pictures on Instagram-

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