Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray is the story of a middle aged woman named Ruth and her need to bake. I loved this novel. Given that I haven’t reviewed much fiction, I wanted to offer up a few great books that have hit my summer reading table.

It’s the compulsion to feed those around us. I come from a family that believes that as long as we have yummy food everything is great.

In this story our heroine Ruth dreams of cake. She’s an accomplished baker whose family moans when another magnificent confection graces the table. I especially loved how she deals with stress. When she’s alone she imagines herself inside the warm, comforting center of a giant bundt cake. Preferable gingerbread.

If there is a crisis Ruth bakes, if there is a celebration, there is cake. In my house my family knows that something is really wrong when they come home and see the counters lined up with baking. “Ruth sees it as an outward manifestation of an inner need to nurture her family.”

I know that feeding and caring for my family, just like bitching to my girlfriends raises my oxytocin level and calms me down. Men need to fix things, have solitude or watch sports to re-kindle their testosterone, but nurturing works for women. Hence the cake baking.

In Eat Cake Ruth has her lifelong divorced parents move in with her (and her recently unemployed husband and two teenagers). Her parents who haven’t said a civil word to each other in decades both need help. Especially her father who has shattered both wrists and needs help feeding himself and going to the bathroom.

So Ruth gets up at 3 am to bake. So do i if my week is especially bad. Both Ruth and I buy expensive vanilla paste, and have a 48 inch cake pan. I so get Ruth. I think you will too. It’s a story about courage and re-invention. It’s also about “believable, likable characters engaged in the large and small dramas and amusements of life.”

Find it at your book store and know it is the perfect, thought provoking summer chick lit.