Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ingredients of Us” as Want to Read:
The Ingredients of Us
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ingredients of Us

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,107 ratings  ·  243 reviews

From debut author Jennifer Gold comes a delicious novel about the sweet and sour ingredients of life and love.

Elle, an accomplished baker, has a recipe for every event in her life. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Jam, maybe? Definitely jam.

Fed up with the stale crumbs of her marriage, Elle revisits past recipes and

Hardcover, 285 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ingredients of Us, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tina I took it as Tom was trying to "justify" his affair in someway and made it sound like he was faithful for so long with her with just one "slip up." I …moreI took it as Tom was trying to "justify" his affair in someway and made it sound like he was faithful for so long with her with just one "slip up." I loved her retort back to him. Really put everything in perspective!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,107 ratings  ·  243 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ingredients of Us
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
All the ingredients of a sweet read! 🧁 🧁 🧁 🧁

Elle is a well-known baker, and all her best memories are tied to food. We meet her as she finds out her husband is cheating, which understandably rocks her world.

Elle can look at a recipe for scones and connect it to a memory about her father’s death. She can bake cinnamon rolls and think of when she first dated her husband. Don’t we all tie some of the best, and most challenging, times of our lives to food? I know I certainly do. Food and music.

May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
What a wonderful debut novel by Jennifer Gold! The story caught my attention from the beginning and her writing flowed beautifully from page to page.

This is the story of Elle and Tom's marriage. Elle owns a bakery shop with her best friend. She has recently discovered her husband of almost nine years has been having an affair. The story is cleverly told through chapters of Before Elle found out and After Elle found out.

We slowly begin to learn about Elle's marriage throughout each of the chapter
Jennifer Gold
May 20, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Dear Readers,

I am so thrilled to share my debut novel with you!

The idea for this book came out of my time as a baker. While I was in college, I worked part-time in a café making pastries, cookies, cakes—the whole nine. While the job was much less technical than what you might see on the Great British Baking Show, I came away from the experience with a zillion great recipes, better home-baking techniques, and most importantly, the inspiration for “The Ingredients of Us.”

One of the most profound
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
2.5 stars
If you enjoy novels centred around daily life where the plot is relatively 'normal' and doesn't really go anywhere aside from exploring a specific topic or event, check this one out. I know that description may not make this story sound appealing but I do know that there are readers out there that enjoy novels based on everyday life. I would consider this novel a 'slice of life' story where it explores an event, what lead up to that event, and the aftermath of that event.

Personally, at
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
That cover is delish!

The Ingredients of Us is a savory novel about infidelity, insecurities and being yourself. With an added bonus, recipes are sprinkled throughout the book which mirror events or emotions in Elle’s life. The timeline might be bothersome as it skips from present to past. For example, some of the chapters are labeled: Four months before Elle found out, Over six years before Elle found out, Over six weeks after Elle found out, etc. The characters aren’t always likable but this is
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
I think we’ve all read books where a woman discovers her husband has been unfaithful but Gold was able to put her own spin on the premise with this one. This jumps from the time period after Elle discovers his betrayal to when they first met and also the years in between. The chapters are fairly short and it does jump around time wise quite a bit, but it was very easy to follow and keep up as every chapter was clearly labeled. It was fascinating to see how their relationship had changed and evol ...more
Linda Zagon
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews 'The Ingredients of Us" by Jennifer Gold, Lake Union Publishing, July 1, 2019

Jennifer Gold, Author of "The Ingredients of Us" has written a delicious, delightful, entertaining, and emotional novel. In addition to the novel are the most amazing recipes for desserts of all kinds. The Genres for this novel are Domestic Fiction, Women's Fiction, and Fiction. The timeline of the story is in the present and goes back nine years when it pertains to the characters or event
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read or bake ?!
That was my dilemma in reading this yummy book !

The story of Elle and Tom and their marriage is told as before and after ! These were well written characters a surrounded by these delicious recipes !
A great book by this author who will forever be on my TBR list.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I never really settled in to this book. Some of the publishing house decisions don't actually help the reader. I understand that the recipes are supposed to be extracts from Elle's binder but the handwriting font chosen is not the best to read on an eReader; there are clearer handwriting fonts out there that would have worked better from a reader's perspective. Whilst it may be a lovely font on printed media it really didn't translate well to a digital format.

To be honest the recipes were just o
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
The Ingredients of Us, a debut from Jennifer Gold turned out a huge hit for me. It's heavier and more profound than I had judged from its cover and the blurb, but I realized this is exactly what I had been looking for; gripping, emotional, and a bitter read rather than being all light and fluffy. I enjoyed this women's fiction tremendously.

I honestly don't know where to begin, but let's start with the writing. It's surprisingly strong and evocative, definitely packs a strong punch that cuts rig
Bambi Rathman
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Here's something life doesn't give you: a recipe. You have to make it up as you go along, adjusting accordingly."
This is a story about a married couple, Elle and Tom, and their minced up marriage. The alternating time line this story is written in takes the reader back and forth from the present date and their struggles to the past in which the couple meets and events in between. There are tantalizing and life meaning recipes mixed into the story that relate to the current status of the relatio
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Elle and Tom, their marriage and lives before and after their marriage pulled me in right away and made me want to know more about them. I eagerly read chapter after chapter of their lives, before Elle knew, after Elle knew and way before she knew.

Her steadfast friend, employee and co-owner Bonnie and her husband Charlie were just as important to the story and easily as likable as Elle and Tom. I loved this story and waited impatiently, wondering how things would turn out.

Did I say
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut, arc
Elle owns a successful bakery, but her marriage is on the rocks after she discovers husband, Tom, has been cheating on her. The story alternates between before and after the affair so that the reader gets a taste of how Elle and Tom met and what their relationship was like before the split. Will they be able to reconcile? Just like a recipe, how will their lives need to be adjusted so they can both achieve the desired results?

"Here's something life doesn't give you: a recipe. You have to make it
Andrea Hurst
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Ingredients of Us
Jennifer Gold

This impressive debut novel by Jennifer Gold blends together exquisite writing with a delectable plot. The insightful and honest character development is complimented by the luscious descriptions of her bakery delights. The author brilliantly interconnects Elle’s baking with her current emotions, aptly displayed when she channels her bitterness into a sweet lemon tart. All in all, a truly satisfying read.

Andrea Hurst
Author of The Guestbook

Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started out making me cry and I pretty much cried all the way through. As much as I truly hate cheating in a marriage I started feeling bad for Tom. I felt super bad for Elle, but I just felt like Tom got lost. There were things he wanted so bad yet could never seem to have. Family being one and the most important one for him. Elle loves Tom even more than baking. He’s the love of her life and always will be. He told a few lies along the way but I still felt for him. My heart broke for ...more
Suzy Krause
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing and a very interesting structure. I really appreciated the way the story unfolded; very engaging.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ingredients of Us is a promising debut from Lake Union author, Jennifer Gold. The cover alone is gorgeous. The characters are well developed and while leading lady Elle is a wee bit neurotic, I think that if any of us were put in her position, we may be too. I mean, don’t judge until you walk a mile right?

Told in a dual timeline, the book follows the couple as they meet and as they go through some hella troubles. Elle is a baker and following a recipe is her therapy. She has a recipe for eve
Lori Boyd
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
🎂🎂🎂🎂🍰 (4.5)

A delicious debut novel from Jennifer Gold. Perfect summer read and when you are done, you will have a few yummy dessert recipes!

This book goes back and forth in time, effortlessly from Elle and Tom’s courtship till their present troubles. Anyone who has ever dealt with insecurities in your self or a relationship, will see yourself in Elle. Tom, is searching for something also.

The recipes described follow the storyline completely along with the references of food describing certain
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
one star is two stars too many for this book.

if you found out your partner of many years was cheating on you, would you simply hypothesise inside your own mind why they did it and never actually ask them any details?

absolutely flabbergasted by the character of tom, breaking up his first marriage because he wanted babies to breaking up his second marriage AND CHEATING because he wanted babies, congratulations on successfully writing a bad character

my review from my book group of two people:
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've written this review for Really Into This

Check out all of our reviews at
Happy Reading, friends!

The Ingredients of Us by Jennifer Gold is right up my alley. Basically. if there’s a fiction book that centers around baking, I’m down to read it. A tale of adultery that centers around baking & recipes interwoven into the couple’s life really speaks to me. Usually, books that involve baking are fairly upbeat & magical. As I read the synopsis for Gold’s debut, I’m intrigu
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ingredients of Us is a very unique book - I really enjoyed it! Not only does it have a great story with drool worthy recipes mixed in, it has a very unique timeline, alternating from before an event occurs and after that event occurs. The characters are all very real - this story could be about your next door neighbors, or coworkers. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author!
Sherri Thacker
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The Ingredients of Us has the best cover and that’s what drew me to this book. Lots of recipes in this book that literally made my mouth water. A woman’s husband has cheated on her and that’s how it starts. It flips back and forth from before the affair and after the affair but it’s easy to follow. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book. All opinions are my own.
Cathi - LovesBooksMore
⭐️Book Review ⭐️
The Ingredients of Us by Jennifer Gold
3/5 Stars

**I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

I really wanted to love this book after all the hype about it on social media. The dual timelines were absolute confusion. It’s one thing to jump to ‘before’ and ‘after’ and event, but this timeline would jump to years before, days after, months before, etc. I almost needed a notebook to keep track of where we were at in the story. W
mindful.librarian ☀️
👩🏼‍🍳🧁 This one was heavily promoted for me on Goodreads, and since it was available for me as Read & Listen on Kindle Unlimited, I gave it a try. I listened to it and ultimately thought it was.....fine.
The premise of a baker (my FAVORITE) navigating how to deal with her husband’s infidelity and the unraveling of her marriage was intriguing to me, and I liked the whole bakery part of the book. However, one thing I forgot about is how difficult it is for me when there are recipes in books because
Check out my blog at for more reviews and bookish content.

I thought that this title was going to be an empowering, “How Stella got her groove back” but with pastries. Which is an awesome premise and made me want to put on my "napron". However, that’s not what this was. Instead it was a dual timeline tale about the good times and how both people in a marriage can tear it asunder. The reason I thought it was going to be an empowering tale about healing after heart
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This light well written debut novel is a perfect summer read. No only do you get a great plot with interesting characters but there are also lots of fantastic recipes, too. The recipes are for everything from blackberry jam to lemon tarts and espresso seduction brownies. Even if you aren't a baker, these recipes will make you wish that you were!

Elle owns her own bakery and has been baking for her entire life. She bakes when she's depressed and she bakes when she's happy - baking is her personal
Casey Dawes
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This book breaks all my rules. First of all it's told in present tense--not my favorite. BUT ... I stopped noticing at the second sentence, so skillfully was it done. Second, I am a linear thinker and like my books going from A to B to C, not jumping all around like this one does. BUT ... the story was so compelling it ceased to matter about three chapters in. I just wanted to know what happened!!!

And the ending? I won't spoil it even though it broke another rule. BUT ... it was such a complete,
Spoiler Queen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dini - dinipandareads
This is kind of hard for me to review because although I really related to the internal struggles and the experience that Elle went through, I also found her character frustrating, the storyline a bit slow, and I found myself wishing that we got more development in the present.

it me

Gold's writing flows well and is easy to follow. It's not overly descriptive but it's laced with emotions; she really knows how to make readers feel what her characters are going through. I enjoyed the recipes that were la
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Missed: Rafael and Lisa (Cliffside Bay, #6)
  • Scarred: Trey and Autumn (Cliffside Bay, #8)
  • Christmas Wedding (Cliffside Bay, #6.5)
  • The Storm
  • Unforgivable (Not Quite An Alpha)
  • Healed: Stone and Pepper (Cliffside Bay, #7)
  • Jilted: Nico and Sophie (Cliffside Bay, #9)
  • Teague's Breeder (Not Quite an Alpha)
  • The Sugar Queen of Emerson Pass (Emerson Pass Contemporaries, #1)
  • I Can't Let Go (The Brothers of Chi Town Book 1)
  • LIFE Unexpected
  • A Heart's Forgiveness (Chance, #3)
  • Until It's Gone
  • The Spinster (Emerson Pass Historicals #2)
  • Blue Ink (Blue Mountain #3)
  • Departed: David and Sara (Cliffside Bay, #10)
  • The Affair (The Relationship Quo, #5)
  • Imperfect Love (Heart of Hope #4)
See similar books…
Jennifer Gold is an award-winning author of book club fiction. Her books feature themes of love, second-chances, and self-discovery. Her debut novel, The Ingredients of Us, won a Book Excellence Award in 2020. Booklist has called her characters “multifaceted” and her storylines “compelling” and “bittersweet.”

When she’s not writing, you can find her sipping coffee, enjoying the outdoors, or curled

Related Articles

Mistaken identities, one-night stands, forbidden love, fake engagements—oh my! There's no denying it: The romance genre has got some of the...
215 likes · 28 comments