What a welcome return and welcome escape to Guthrie, Vermont, home to The Sugar Maple Inn from The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, Miller's first novel. The Late Bloomers' Club turns the focus to town, the Miss Guthrie Diner, and Nora Huckleberry, born, raised, and destined it seems to stay in Guthrie. When local cake lady, Peggy Johnson, literally takes a turn for the worse, everything gets tossed upside down. Peggy's will designates Nora and her kooky sister Kit as heirs to her expansive property which a big-box store has had its eye on developing. The developer Eliot seems sweet and thoughtful, especially as he and Nora share a keen interest not just in making the best decision for town and property, but in locating Freckles, the dog that went missing when the cake lady hit the old oak tree. Sweet mysteries are baked into this charming and satisfying novel. And, the cake baking! I wish this novel was scratch-and-sniff because I could practically smell and taste that Burnt Sugar Cake.— Susan
“A downright delightful read. . . [with] everything you want from a small town summer read: sweetness, charm, and a side of romance.” –HelloGiggles
A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small town's efforts to do right by the community, and the power of a lost dog to summon true love
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what's "the usual." But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town's beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.
Kit, an aspiring--and broke--filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided--some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change--and they aren't afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn't quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer's rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on--finding Peggy's missing dog, Freckles.
When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn't always mean giving up your dreams.
About the Author
Louise Miller is the author of The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. She is a pastry chef who lives, writes and bakes in Boston, MA. The Late Bloomers' Club is her second novel.
Praise for The Late Bloomers' Club:
“You’ll want to linger.” –People
“As warm and cozy as buttered brioche and tea next to the fireplace on a winter morning. . . will appeal to fans of Jan Karon’s 'Mitford' books and Jennifer Chiaverini’s 'Elm Creek Quilts' series.” --Library Journal
“Heartwarming, charming and utterly fascinating, The Late Bloomers' Club is a beautifully rendered peek behind the scenes of a small town, its community and its mysteries. I adored this novel.” --Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End
“Written with insight, honesty, and dry wit, The Late Bloomers' Club is as cheery and warming as a campfire, an escape into a world where the cakes are homemade, the summer evenings glimmer with fireflies, and thoughtfulness always triumphs.” –Ann Mah, author of The Lost Vintage
"The people in Guthrie have no shortage of troubles, but they also have compassion, imagination, humor, and a camaraderie we badly need in today's world. Miller's novels are not only worlds I love to spend time in, I want to live there." --Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Family
Praise for The City Baker's Guide to Country Living:
"Miller elevates the story by turning it into a Pinterest fantasy of rural America. . . [Her] visions of bucolic Vermont landscapes, cinnamon-scented kitchens and small-town friendliness make this reverie of country life an appealing one. —The New York Times Book Review
“This book is super cozy—probably because it takes place in a small town in Vermont, and because the protagonist has a dog named Salty, and because she’s a baker who spends her days working at an inn. Okay, it’s Gilmore Girls.” —Bon Appetit, “8 Food Novels You Need to Read this Summer”
"Add in some romance and mouth-watering food descriptions, and Louise Miller’s debut novel is a giant serving of comfort food. Treat yourself." —RealSimple
“[An] endearing debut. . . Miller, a pastry chef herself, writes about food with vivid detail, but her rhythmic prose is even crisper when her interests converge [and she] also excels at characterization, revealing her protagonist’s complex pasts in subtle ways.” —Publishers Weekly
"Beautifully light and rich. . . . Comforting without being cozy, this is escapist fiction for those who want a quieter—and tastier—life." —Elle.com
"Mix in one part Diane Mott Davidson’s delightful culinary adventures with several tablespoons of Jan Karon’s country living and quirky characters, bake at 350 degrees for one rich and warm romance." —Library Journal
"Pies aren’t simple. Neither is Livvy or The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. All three, however, are capable of warming the heart." —PopMatters
“With insight, warmth, and humor, Louise Miller describes life in a kitchen as only an experienced baker can. A magnificent debut.” —J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
“This book comes with a warning: do not read while hungry. Absolutely charming and perfectly delicious. Bliss.” —Natasha Solomons, author of The Song of Hartgrove Hall
“A soup-to-nuts treat. If only Livvy Rawlings could move her whisks and mixing bowls into your own kitchen to work the magic Louise Miller spins throughout these scrumptious pages.” —Mameve Medwed, author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life
“Genuine and sweet (with a pinch of salt), THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is a feast for the senses, for the head and the heart. With great warmth and generosity, Louise Miller brings a place and its lovable inhabitants to life. I adored this book; it made me want to dance. And eat.” —Kate Racculia, author of Bellweather Rhapsody
“Louise Miller knows that a great story is like a prize-winning apple pie—warm, full to the brim with character, and not too sweet. Her descriptions of the Vermont countryside, the Sugar Maple Inn, and baker Livvy Rawling's desserts make you want to pack a bag and head out for a long weekend in New England.” —Erica Bauermeister, author of The Lost Art of Mixing
“A warm, fresh look at finding one's way and making new choices in life. It was studded with satisfying nuggets of wisdom throughout, like dabs of butter in a homemade pie, every baker's--and writer's--secret ingredient of choice.” —Ellen Airgood, author of South of Superior
"Louise Miller's debut is like a walk in the Vermont woods on a sunny day: crisp, bright, colorful, soul-reviving....Delicious.” —Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August
“I fell in love with the community of Guthrie, Vermont, the soul-healing landscape, the quirky characters, and the sumptuous desserts Olivia Rawlings creates for them.” —Juliette Fay, author of The Shortest Way Home
“Compulsively readable and written with deep tenderness. . . in a rare book that not only whets the appetite, but makes the heart a little more whole.” —Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation