The Union Street Bakery, by Mary Ellen Taylor
Abandonment issues can create a lot of confusion and conflict in a person’s life. They are often experienced by adopted children or children of divorced parents. They can continue long into adulthood. In Daisy McCrae’s situation, her abandonment issues go even deeper than most because she can actually recall the day it happened. She was three years old, sitting outside the Union Street Bakery with her mother. She was munching on a sugar cookie with red sprinkles. It was a day like any other. And then it wasn’t. Her mother was gone.
The Union Street Bakery, by Mary Ellen Taylor, catches up with Daisy 30 years later. Like that moment in her childhood, everything was fine until it wasn’t. Except that it wasn’t really fine, because that day her mother left became a heavy weight that remained shackled to Daisy ever since. She had tasted success, she knew the love of an adopted family, she even knew the love of a man, but the unanswered questions loomed like heavy clouds before a storm.
The story begins when Daisy’s professional life takes a U-turn, forcing her to return home to her family, the current generation of McCraes and owners of the Union Street Bakery. Part drama, part mystery, part romance, Daisy has plenty of choices to make. And, like with all of us, there are events she can control and those she cannot. And like all of us, there are emotions she can either indulge…or not.
This is a book that I’m still deciding how much I enjoyed. When an elderly, long-time customer leaves Daisy an old journal the plot takes some interesting, albeit confusing, twists. There are times when the author is trying to accomplish so much that I would’ve preferred a simpler story. Some Goodreads reviewers criticized the use of profanity. I agree on that point and will deduct one whole “star” because of it. If only Daisy had resorted to certain words I would’ve attributed it to her frustration, but that wasn’t the case and it was unnecessary.
Still, I’m curious to see what happens next and will probably read Sweet Expectations, the next book in the series. Daisy McCrae may not be the most likable protagonist, but she is compelling, and I still wish good things for her in the future.