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The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

The Baker's Wife (2011)

by Erin Healy

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Right up there as one of the Worst books I've ever read to the end. Silly plot, bad writing; the author can't seem to decide if she wants to write religion, fantasy or mystery, so throws in all three. The one redeeming quality is it's short & I gave it 1/2 star for that. -- The baker's wife used to be the pastor's wife but he was fired as pastor because - I dunno, apparently because his son got the cop's daughter pg & she had an abortion. Ergo he's no longer a pastor, the son had to drop out of med school. Now the cops wife somehow fakes her own death by driving her scooter into an intersection in deep fog with pints of her own blood (I know, I know, don't ask) dumped all around so that when the pastor/baker's wife drives thru she will hit it & everyone will think she killed her. -- One more good point: it's consistent. Bad at the beginning, bad to the end. Highly Not Recommended. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Jul 24, 2017 |
With the Baker’s Wife by Erin Healy, I learned something about myself! This is a mystery with rich with religious and psychological issues. The characters are drawn with beautiful detail. I found myself identifying with the main character, Audrey Bofinger. I tend to feel the pain and hurt of people deep within myself. Audrey does this to an extreme and uses “her gift” to get into missing person’s thoughts and feelings so deeply that she can figure out how to find them. She was so worn from feeling the pain or thoughts of others that she resorted to giving the families of those troubled or dealing with pain or sickness loaves of bread. She felt guilty about it like I do when I withdraw from something that I know will drain me too much. Now I see that as a normal activity, a way of protection.

Getting to the story, Audrey is a part of a loving family. Her husband, Geoff was the pastor of their church until something happened between Ed and the daughter of the Sergeant Jack Mansfield. Jack called an emergency meeting as a church deacon and provided “evidence” pushed for the firing of a pastor and banning of him ever to be a pastor again. I have meet Jack before several times in real people at churches, job interviews and other places. The irony is that I have seen something similar in real life. A deacon at my church called a meeting and had a pastor fired for a different reason. I will not go into it here, but that reason would have been my reason for hiring him!

Jack knows that the Lord is on his side and is constantly quoting the scripture to justify his thoughts and deeds. Jack sees everything in black and white, there is no forgiveness, he is extremely controlling. Jack does not examine his life or consider loving the people around him, he is just interested in them conforming to his view of correctness. Opposite of him is Ed, Audrey’s son and her husband, Geoff. They pose their own perceptions. There is also a woman named Diane who is connected to the story and mystery but she is a bit slow and never realized that she had been wronged. She needs others to help her see herself different.

The characters are beautifully drawn and the mystery did keep me in suspense but it was the characters in this book that shown for me. I have left out all the details of the mystery so you can discover them yourself!

I definitely want to read more by this author. ( )
  Carolee888 | Nov 28, 2014 |
The Baker’s Wife is a suspenseful thriller steeped in religious overtones. What started off slowly quickly turned into a gripping mystery. I really enjoyed this novel of good verse evil.
Protagonist, Audrey Bofinger, works to heal the wounds of her family and community. With her husband, ex-pastor Geoff, they open a bakery. She is blessed with a gift, or curse, to recognize when others need her help. One foggy morning, on the way into the bakery, she hits a scooter. The scooter is destroyed and the scene is covered in blood - too much blood, for anyone to have survived. The scooter belongs to Julia, the wife of police sergeant Jack Mansfield. When a body can’t be found and Julia is missing, suspicion soon turns to foul play. To make matters worse, Jack Mansfield is the man responsible for having Pastor Bofinger fired from the church and banned from preaching. When evidence isn’t sufficient, Jack decides to take matters into his own hands.
Healy beautifully and skillfully weaves a tale of intrigue, while carefully telling the story of each character. She has you second guessing as she feeds you pieces of the puzzle. Aside from being a suspenseful mystery, The Baker’s Wife deals with faith, compassion, judgment and man’s own flaws.
I will be looking for other work by Erin Healy and highly recommend this book.
I want to thank Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
You can see more of this review on my blog: http://kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer.blogspot.com/ ( )
1 vote kimbacaffeinate | Mar 30, 2013 |
When I requested this from Vine, I didn't realize it was a Christian mystery. I'm not a Christian, and I was a little annoyed that the description didn't indicate the genre of this book, but I figured I'd power through. I won't speak about the 'message' or 'faith inspiration' of this novel, but instead focus on the mystery.

Julie Mansfield has disappeared. Her blood is everywhere, her scooter is destroyed, and her husband goes into a religious zealot crazy haze trying to blame her murder on his personal enemies, the former pastor and his wife. When Jack Mansfield takes the pastor-turned-breadmaker and his son hostage trying to force a murder confession out of them, it's up to the pastor's wife to solve the mystery.

The pastor's wife has the ability to track people down based on their pain. She experiences it herself, and it manifests physically, as a sort of modern-day stigmata. She will try to use her faith-based powers of empathy to find Julie, with the help of Julie's daughter and an ex-con recently returned to town.

I will say, I didn't guess where the mystery was going. Usually you can figure these things out pretty quickly, but I wasn't sure where the author wanted this little family drama to go. That was actually refreshing - it's nice to be surprised. I only wish the ex-con's story were told with equal vigor. By the end of the novel I didn't feel any closer to figuring out all the details about her than I was at the beginning.

It seemed that characterization was too often replaced by each character's personal musing on their love of god or their lack or faith in god (I also wonder why Christian fiction has to mention god or faith in some way on every page - atheist authors don't draw attention to their lack of faith on every page; this felt a little preachy). None of the characters felt genuine to me. They were either martyrs or zealots (for whichever side they fought, faith or its lack), none acting as one would expect real, rational people to act under pressure.

While I didn't care for the characters or feel invested in the message, I did find the mystery entertaining, and I read the book over 24 hours just to find out what happened. The pacing is good and the payoff is okay. I don't really feel like I got much out of my time with this novel, but I don't feel like I wasted any time either. ( )
2 vote dizzyweasel | Dec 1, 2011 |
Audrey was the pastor's wife, and after a scandal she is adjusting to her new life as a baker's wife. After an car accident, Audrey is left in a bizarre situation. There is tons of blood but no body. The scooter Audrey hit also happens to belong to the wife of the man who got Audrey's husband removed from the parsonage, Jack Mansfield. When Jack determines to take things in his own hands, he takes everyone in the bakery hostage until Audrey can produce his wife. Audrey will have to rely on her special connection with people to try and figure out what happened to Julie Mansfield and save her loved ones.

Oh wow, this book was amazing. There were so many twists and turns, some of which I guessed and some of which kept me guessing. More than that though, it was just an amazing story. Audrey struggles with her ability to feel what others are feeling in a very literal sense. There were so many wonderful threads involving compassion, consequences, and second chances. The author was able to paint an amazing sense of atmosphere. I could feel the tension, and I think my heart even began to race at times because I was nervous for the characters.

I did find Miralee to be a bit difficult to sympathize with. However, she did show enough growth that I almost liked her in the end. All the other characters (with the obvious exception of Jack) showed a wonderful balance in their personalities. Another thing I really enjoyed were the two different perspectives of religion. It was used to help people by some, and twisted into something horrible to justify their actions by others. Overall, I would say this is a must read! I did not want to stop reading, and I highly recommend this book.

Book provided for review. ( )
1 vote l_manning | Nov 1, 2011 |
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After her husband Geoff, a pastor, loses his job after a scandal in their congregation, Audrey works with Geoff to resurrect a failing bakery, but their troubles grow when Audrey hits a motor scooter whose rider has disappeared.

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