Baker’s Blues in part of the Bread Alone series by Judith Ryan Hendricks, the ongoing tale of Wyn Morrison.
In Wyn Morrison’s world a 5 AM phone call is rarely good news. It usually means equipment trouble at her bakery or a first shift employee calling in sick—something annoying but mundane, fixable. But the news she receives on a warm July morning is anything but mundane. Or fixable.
Mac, her ex-husband, is dead.
He’s not just in a different house with another woman, but actually, physically gone and the news ignites a firestorm of memories and regrets. Ineligible for widowhood, Wyn is nonetheless shaken to her core as she discovers that the fact of divorce offers no immunity from grief.
As Mac’s executor, she is now faced with sorting his possessions, selling his house and trying to help his daughter Skye deal with financial and legal aspects of her inheritance–a task made more difficult by Skye’s grief, anger and resentment.
Once again the bakery becomes her center as she places herself back in the bread rotation. In the cool, gray light just before dawn, enveloped by the familiar smells of wheat and yeast and coffee, the hypnotic rhythms of Bach, the radiant warmth of the ovens, the borderline softens, becomes a permeable membrane letting her pass freely between past and present. She might be Jean-Marc’s apprentice at the Boulangerie du Pont, washing bowls and pans, shaping clumsy beginner’s loaves and learning to make levain. Or working nights at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle with the ever-obnoxious Linda, teaching Tyler to bake, experimenting with different flours and techniques, testing, searching for the ultimate loaf of bread.
Now she will sift through her memories of Mac and their life together, eventually coming to terms with who he was and why, with Skye and her anger, and with Alex, who was once more than a friend. Soon she will re-learn the lessons of bread that she first discovered at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle… that bread is a process–slow, arduous, messy, mysterious–and should be consumed with the eyes closed and the heart open…