The Summer Kitchen by Karen Weinreb

Nora Banks lives an idyllic life in Bedford, New York - huge renovated home, great kids, solid marriage, and all the trappings of a rich, kept wife with no worries in the world, though the rigidity of "fitting in" in Bedford has always bothered Nora somewhat.

But all that changes when the doorbell rings, and the feds take away Nora's husband for white collar crimes - two years in the pen, and suddenly Nora is left alone in the shark tank of Bedford.

As her possession disappear, her dignity takes a hit, and her children have to transfer to public school, Nora transforms from a fairly shallow, kept character into one of strength and more depth - doing what she needs to do to keep her remaining family intact, while keeping her head up. Enter her baking skills and a growing business...

Weinreb's writes so convincingly about the "lives of rich wives", because this novel is based on her own experiences (husband and all). I really enjoyed the "peek behind the curtain" at that type of lifestyle, though at times I found the writing a bit dense for the story it was telling.

Overall, this is an ultimately hopeful story with a great setting and engaging characters. Reminds me why I'm NOT cut out for life in places like Bedford!