My eldest child and I are having a bit of a baking-fest at the moment, so when I saw the blurb for this book, it appealed to me instantly.
Bettina is damaged. Something happened in her past and it is affecting her sort-of-relationship with Rufus, the handsome, rugged next-door-neighbour. She’s moved away from her family and after a spell in France, has settled in a remote village and set up her bakery “adventures in bread”. Sounds like a fab place.
Stephanie Butland has woven a lovely heartwarming tale of building relationships out of the ashes of the past and dealing with tragedy. I was apprehensive when I discovered Rufus was the same Rufus as in another book I’d read (The Secrets We Keep, 3*) but soon overcame this as the links between the stories were irrelevant .
The Other Half of My Heart shows that Stephanie Butland’s writing has developed further; this story unfolded gently but with warmth, interest and none of the melancholy that bothered me in the previous book.
I thought that Stephanie Butland deftly placed clues to Bettina’s past and hinted at what could have happened. I wasn’t shocked when the pivotal event was “revealed” but it was well-handled and helped turn this into a really enjoyable read.
If you’re after dark, mysterious thrillers, it’s NOT for you. But if you’re looking for a heartwarming tale, with a bit more substance, in between the heartstopping books, this is one for you! Worth the read.
MetLine Rating: 4 stars (Piccadilly)
About this book
“It smelled bittersweetly of sourdough, and there was the trace of hot, fresh bread in the air. She took a deep breath and unlocked the door”
Fifteen years ago Bettina May’s life’s veered off course in one disastrous night. Still reeling from the shock of losing everything she thought was hers, Bettina opens a bakery in a village and throws herself into the comfort of bread-making.
She spends her days kneading dough and measuring ingredients. She meets someone. She begins to heal.
Until someone who knows what happens that night walks into Bettina’s bakery. In the pause of a heartbeat, fifteen years disappear and Bettina remembers a time she thought was lost for ever . . .
Can she ever go back?