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The Baker's Wife

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Description

Before Audrey was the baker's wife, she was the pastor's wife.

Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey's car strikes something—or someone—at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there's no trace of a body.

Both the scooter and the blood belong to detective Jack Mansfield's wife, and he's certain that Audrey is behind Julie's disappearance.

But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she'll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind—her excruciating ability to feel other's pain.

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. What are some of the ways in which Geoff and Audrey's bakery is like a church?
     
  2. When God directs Audrey to comfort others, she's assured of his guidance and protection, but sometimes she resists his prompting. Why is it sometimes hard to be compassionate? What obstacles hinder Audrey from entering the suffering of people like Julie?
     
  3. What are the risks of ignoring God's call to compassion?
     
  4. What is in Jack's philosophy that causes him to judge everyone in his life so harshly? Is he wrong to expect God to reward righteousness and punish sin?
     
  5. How do Audrey and Jack represent a human understanding of mercy and justice? Can the two co-exist? How might God's mercy and justice be different from our human versions?
     
  6. Jack responds to crisis by trying to seize more control over it. Geoff responds by submitting to the crisis and trusting God. Describe the strengths and drawbacks of each approach. How is Ed's reaction a combination of these?
     
  7. How do the characters in the bakery show support for each other? What advantage does this give them over Jack as the hostage situation progresses?
     
  8. Julie had the capacity for empathy at some point in her life--she showed longsuffering kindness to Diane, the Halls, Coach, Leslie, and others. How was this good quality stripped away from her and replaced with such a strong desire to inflict pain on her family? Was there any way she could have averted the disaster? Why wasn't her rescue by Audrey, Diane, and Miralee enough?
     
  9. Compare the Bofingers' marriage to the Mansfields' marriage. How are Ed and Miralee directly impacted by their parents' values?
     
  10. What did Diane learn from Audrey about redemption and forgiveness?
     
  11. Have you ever failed to express compassion to someone who seemed to need it? What stopped you? Would you do it differently next time? On the flip side, have you ever had a memorable experience supporting someone emotionally? What difference did your empathy make?
     

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The Baker's Wife, Erin Healy
  • The Baker's Wife, Erin Healy

Details

Before Audrey was the baker's wife, she was the pastor's wife.

Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey's car strikes something—or someone—at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there's no trace of a body.

Both the scooter and the blood belong to detective Jack Mansfield's wife, and he's certain that Audrey is behind Julie's disappearance.

But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she'll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind—her excruciating ability to feel other's pain.

More Information

Length 352 Pages
Publication Date October 4, 2011
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595547525
ISBN-13 9781595547521
Height 8.3"
Width 5.4"