Life is going along well for Ruth and Sam, then suddenly a curve ball comes their way. Sam is laid off from his 20-year hospital administration job. Her father Guy, a roving piano bar player, falls and breaks both wrists. He needs a place to stay while he recuperates. Ruth's mother, Hollis, already lives with them and hates her ex-husband. Then Guy shows up with his arms in medical haloes and pins sticking into his wrists. Camille, their 16-year-old daughter, barely talks to them. When she does, it tends to be insolent. Their son is off to college so for now there is only his tuition to consider.
When Ruth is stressed, she bakes cake from scratch. The family often complains about having to eat cake ("I'll gain weight." "You shouldn't just eat dessert.") but that doesn't stop them from enjoying it. Baking is the therapy that keeps Ruth going as her parents bicker, Camille ignores them all, and her husband seems lost after all those years of purpose. Sam doesn't appear to be job hunting. Ruth doesn't work at a paying job outside the home. Camille is a private school. Guy needs home care. An occupational therapist friend of Sam's from the hospital stops by to start working with Guy. Like everyone else Ruth knows, even the therapist is served cake. Ruth's stress levels are increasing - so are the number and frequency of the cakes.
Eat Cake is a good fluff book. Usually when I describe a book as "fun" it's a light book meant more for entertainment and to make the reader feel good - a bit of fluff. Eat Cake is just that sort of book except that it has enough substance to catch the reader in and keep him/her interested in the characters' problems as well. Ruth is suddenly part of the sandwich generation, responsible for her parents, including the independent (now totally dependent) father she barely knows. Jeanne Ray added a scene about needing to cut his toe nails that came to life.
In the end everything comes out all right and hopeful with some amusing twists. Ray reminds us by the end that no matter what we have seen in the past or think we can expect, people surprise us. Eat Cake is a fun little book that you will enjoy.
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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