The Ingredients of Us

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Jennifer Gold for gifting me a copy of The Ingredients of Us to read and review prior to its July 1st publication!

From debut author, Jennifer Gold comes a delicious novel about the sweet and sour ingredients of life and love.

Elle, an accomplished baker, has a recipe for every event in her life. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Jam, maybe? Definitely jam.

Fed up with the stale crumbs of her marriage, Elle revisits past recipes and the events that inspired them. A recipe for scones reminds her of her father’s death, cinnamon rolls signify the problematic courtship with her husband, and a batch of chocolate cookies casts Elle in a less-than-flattering light. Looking back, Elle soon realizes that some ingredients were missing all along.

After confronting her husband, Elle indulges her sweet tooth in other ways, including a rebound that just leaves her more confused. As secrets from the past collide with the conflicts of the present, Elle struggles to manage her bakery business and maintain the relationships most important to her. In piecing her life back together, will Elle learn to take the bitter with the sweet?

When I first read the synopsis for this novel, I knew that I had to add it to my reading list as it combines two of my favorite things; reading and baking (I mean hello, I am the Bookend Diner). A book doesn’t get any sweeter than that, right? Actually, it does, while this story follows Elle as she navigates through a rather unexpected point in her life, it also follows along as she creates recipes to help her deal with her stressors AND Jennifer Gold included the recipes for what Elle makes. So, not only was I reading along on Elle’s journey of rediscovering who she is, but I was also documenting all of her recipes so I could decide which one to pair with this review.

I greatly enjoyed The Ingredients of Us and found myself rooting for, not only, Elle but oddly enough her husband. Marriage is hard work; it requires a lot of effort from both parties involved and Jennifer Gold did an outstanding job incorporating that concept into the pages of this book. There were twists that I didn’t anticipate, but that’s a party of life of, right? Life throws things at us that we aren’t prepared for.

The Ingredients of Us is told in such a way that gave me a deeper understanding of where and how the problems first began in Elle’s relationship with her husband. This novel felt incredibly real to me; life can slip between our fingers as we are busy molding and creating other aspects of our lives. Especially, if like Elle, you are trying to create a successful business that has you working through all the wee hours of the morning.

This story was sweet and savory in the right ways; it gave me all the feels and I definitely encourage you to go out and pre-order this book prior to its July 1 release. For her debut novel, Jennifer Gold really created a confection to remember.  

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