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.
Ironically, just when Wyn needs support most, everyone she’s closest to is otherwise occupied. Her mother and stepfather have moved to Northern California, her best friend CM has finally married the love of her life and is commuting to New York, and her protégé Tyler is busy managing the bakery and dealing with her first serious love affair. They’re all sympathetic, but bewildered by her spiral into sadness. After all, it’s been three years since the divorce.
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…
Armed with a degree in journalism and a short attention span, Judith Ryan Hendricks worked as a journalist, copywriter, computer instructor, travel agent, waitress and baker before turning to fiction writing. Her first novel, Bread Alone, was a national bestseller and a BookSense 76 pick. It was followed by Isabel's Daughter, set in Santa Fe, and The Baker's Apprentice. The Laws of Harmony was published in February, 2009 and was nominated for The Santa Fe Reporter's "Best of Santa Fe." Baker's Blues, part three of the bakery trilogy, will be available in August 2015. Hendricks' fiction has been translated into 12 languages and distributed in 16 countries. She lives in New Mexico with husband Geoff and dog Blue.