Janis Thomas, I can honestly say this is one of the funniest, endearing, and whimsical books I've ever read. The premise isn't original, but how it's told is just perfect.
Ruby McMillan's husband, Walter, suddenly decides that their marriage is over. He wants to pursue his own happiness -- without Ruby. He's leaving her for another woman. A younger, slimmer, woman with big boobs perhaps? No. It's woman Ruby's age and with a couple of extra pounds. Ruby wonders what he could possibly see in her? What is so appealing about this woman that he's willing to leave Ruby and their two children, Colleen and Kevin, behind? Ruby thought they were happy. Or was she just in denial?
While Walter is off on his personal journey, Ruby is left to pick up the pieces of their life. Overdue mortgage payments, household bills, and moody teenagers all become Ruby's responsibility. It's all too much. Even her beloved bakery, the Muffin Top, isn't a place of refuge for Ruby. The bakery is also in trouble financially. "Stressipes" a.k.a Ruby daydreaming about delicious confectionery delights offer a little respite. I should mention, don't read this book if you're hungry it will make you run out to the nearest restaurant or bakery. I did order a box of chocolate-covered strawberries because of this book!!
Picking up the pieces isn't easy for Ruby, but she has a lot of help and motivation. A to-die-for makeover courtesy of Colleen gives Ruby a renewed confidence and outlook on life. She even begins to wonder what it would be like to kiss Jacob Salt -- the hot new guy in town. He's her age. He's recently divorced. And it must be stressed again that he is extremely cute. But is it too soon to be fantasizing about a new relationship? What about the kids? In their minds, this is just a phase for dad. Ruby knows it is more than just a phase but can't bring herself to tell the kids the truth about their father.
I'm not married nor do I have children, but I felt for Ruby every step of the way. When Colleen pushes her mother to the brink of tears, I wanted to yell at her for being such a brat! Ruby is hurting but her daughter could only think of herself -- like most teenagers. Maybe it was too soon for Ruby to be thinking about Jacob naked, but I laughed every step of the way. She's like a giddy teenager and I loved every minute of it. Ruby is finally starting to enjoy life. She doesn't have to follow a recipe anymore. The second phase of her life is going so much better by not following a set list of rules. So much more can happen if you just go with the flow. It's hard for Ruby to change, but it's just what she needs.
I have never read a book by Janis Thomas before, but I know I will again. Her writing flows so easily. There is just the right amount of sadness, humor, and chocolate in this book!
Note: I received a copy from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.