How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal
A Novel

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In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O’Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters—and the healing magic of homemade bread.
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Barbara O'Neal's The All You Can Dream Buffet.

About Barbara O'Neal

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BARBARA O'NEAL fell in love with restaurants and the secret language of spoons when she was sixteen. She spent more than a decade in various restaurants, from dives to cafés to high cuisine, before selling her first novel. O'Neal teaches workshops nationally and internationally, and lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, in Colorado Springs.

Author Residence: Colorado Springs, CO
Published July 23, 2010 by Bantam. 417 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How to Bake a Perfect Life

The Romance Dish

I love Marie's books - have so many on my wish list.

Mar 01 2014 | Read Full Review of How to Bake a Perfect Life: A...

The Romance Dish

I love a hot hero, love a strong heroine...really love hockey.

Mar 01 2014 | Read Full Review of How to Bake a Perfect Life: A...


Told alternately from Ramona's, her daughter's and her granddaughter's perspective, the novel includes bread and sourdough starter recipes.

Dec 26 2010 | Read Full Review of How to Bake a Perfect Life: A...

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