Sweet NothingsReviewed by Holly Madison

Ruby McMillan is a 44-year-old woman whose world comes crashing down around her when her husband decides to leave her for another woman. Left on her own, she is faced with a failing bakery, financial hardships, and two teenage children. Sweet Nothings covers Ruby’s transition from unfulfilled wife to funny, admirable, and independent woman.

I have read a lot of books lately with characters that I really didn’t like. This was not one of those books. Ruby is one of the most likeable heroines I have ever encountered, and I found myself rooting for her every step of the way. I certainly felt for her, as I think most of us know what it is like to have our lives take an unexpected turn. Her story is comparable to a recipe gone wrong–sometimes you follow all of the rules (like a well-written recipe), being careful to not take too many risks, and your food still ends up falling flat when you least expect it. And sometimes that is the problem==it might be better to take certain risks than to play it safe all of your life.

Sweet Nothings obviously covers a difficult situation, but it does so in such a light hearted way that it reads like a comedy. Ruby has a fantastic personality and a wonderful sense of humor. Faced with this awful situation, she chooses to embrace it rather than retreat into devastation, and she comes out of it with a smile on her face and both arms swinging. Her transformation reminds me of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, and I found it both entertaining and inspirational.

A fun bonus of this book is that Ruby teaches a baking class, and there are recipes throughout the book that made my mouth water! This book not only inspired me emotionally, but it made me want to learn how to cook! Food is a constant metaphor for people, situations, and feelings in this book, and this concept was both refreshing and completely appropriate for the content and the writing style of the author.

One thing to note is that I don’t see this as being the type of book that both men and women would enjoy. This is 100% a “chick-book.” That being said, it’s a wonderful book and is certainly one that I will revisit again and again.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Holly has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science and owns a small business with her husband selling fleece and hand-spun yarn. When she is not spinning yarn, she does freelance work as a graphic design artist and is highly involved in animal rescue.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Berkley. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.