‘What Would Mary Berry Do?’ by Claire Sandy

What Would Mary Berry Do? Book Cover What Would Mary Berry Do?
Claire Sandy
Chick Lit

For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this is a story about family life, unfriendly rivalry and flat Victoria sponges.

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson.

If you’re a die-hard Great British (or Australian!) Bake Off fan, and love a bit of chick lit, then this is the book for you. Leading lady Marie is tired of being the Mum who brings the store-bought treats to school fetes, so embarks on a year long journey to learn from the Fairy Grandmother of baking – Mary Berry.

As a great admirer of the spunky Mary myself, I was drawn to this book and wasn’t disappointed. Marie was a great character. She wasn’t perfect, but she was REAL. A mother, a wife, a dentist, a homemaker; Marie was trying to keep the family running smoothly while dealing with job security worries, a perfect next-door neighbour who seems to one-up her on everything, a moody teenager and mischievous twin girls, a worried husband and the promise of a croquembouche to be delivered on New Years Day!

As the story developed, all the characters were well developed and I grew to love them all. The overarching theme of the book questioned whether the grass really is greener on the other side, and I liked how the author dealt with exploring  that. I know I think about the green grass in other people’s yards often, so this was something I related to.

I really loved this book. I couldn’t put it down, was invested in all of the story lines, and was glad it was a longer read so that I could really get my teeth stuck into it. DEFINITELY worth a read on a cozy night, with a cuppa tea and a scone!

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I received a copy of What Would Mary Berry Do? from Netgalley in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

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