Mrs. Quinn’s Rise to Fame

Books on Tape. Jan. 2024. 11:13 hrs. ISBN 9780593827055. $95. F
Avid baker Jenny Quinn has spent the last 59 years in a quaint town, married to Bernard. The childless couple spend their days visiting their niece Rose’s family and babysitting their grandniece. When Jenny comes across a call for contestants for the next season of Britain Bakes, she applies. While gathering recipes and dessert ingredients, Jenny recalls her childhood and her pre-Bernard young adulthood. As she moves farther along in the competition, memories and secrets she kept buried for decades are revealed. Melanie Crawley’s narration gives Ford’s debut a warm and fuzzy feeling. She relays Jenny and Bernard’s affection for each other with tenderness; the couple still deeply loves each other after all these years. Their cheery friends and extended family members are helpful and supportive. Scenes from the taping of the show are mild instead of fast-paced, even when mishaps occur. Even the distress that the secrets cause has a touch of hopefulness.
VERDICT Listening to Crawley feels like sipping hot chocolate on a cold day, welcoming and sweet. Give to listeners who enjoy cozy stories with happy endings.
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