The Late Bloomers' Club
A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small-town's efforts to do right by their community, and the power of a lost dog to conjure up true loveNora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what's "the usual." But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her younger, free-spirited sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town's beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.Kit, an aspiring--and broke--filmmaker needs to generate funding for her latest project, and is particularly keen when they find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided--some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change--and they aren't afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn't quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on--finding Peggy's missing dog, Freckles.When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn't always mean giving up your dreams.

The Late Bloomers' Club Details

TitleThe Late Bloomers' Club
Author
ReleaseJul 17th, 2018
PublisherPamela Dorman Books
ISBN-139781101981238
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Adult

The Late Bloomers' Club Review

  • Louise Miller
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading the first pass pages of my book. I’m so excited for The Late Bloomers’ Club to make its way out into the world this summer!
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    If you have ever wanted books that felt like Gilmore Girls, Louise Miller is the author for you. From a small northeastern town, to town meetings, to quirky characters and magical romance, to food and small-town festivals, Guthrie is the perfect place to spend a reading afternoon.I don't read many books like this, I guess I'd call them "contemporary women" or dare I even say "chicklit" without the negative connotations. But I was drawn to Louise Miller's debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Co If you have ever wanted books that felt like Gilmore Girls, Louise Miller is the author for you. From a small northeastern town, to town meetings, to quirky characters and magical romance, to food and small-town festivals, Guthrie is the perfect place to spend a reading afternoon.I don't read many books like this, I guess I'd call them "contemporary women" or dare I even say "chicklit" without the negative connotations. But I was drawn to Louise Miller's debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, which I adored, and I've been following the author in Instagram ever since. Because the author is an actual pastry chef, and since I will forever and always see baking in a tiny town's special bakery as my imaginary alternative life, I was hoping for more of the world of her first novel.So I have good news/bad news. This novel is set in the same small town in Vermont, but the Sugar Maple Inn is only mentioned as a setting for one of the characters in this novel. The owner of the inn is mentioned but I don't remember Livvy being mentioned. I guess I was attached to her as a character if I was hoping for an update!I think Miller has stepped back a bit to let more of the town of Guthrie into this novel. There is romance here, but it's not the only important relationship. It's not just a woman baking in a solo kitchen either (which can also be a relationship, if you really understand bakers and pastry chefs!) The most important relationship is between the two sisters who have been living their adult lives separately since their parents passed away and they had to sell the family home. Nora owns the family diner and has not left Guthrie, and has also gone through a divorce. Her sister, Kit, shows up when an older woman in town leaves her home to the two of them. She also brings her boyfriend, Max, who meditates and teaches Nora to bake. The central plot circles around the property left to the sisters. If they have to sell it, a big-box corporation wants to buy it and put one of their stores there. This gives something for the town to come together on, but creates conflict for the sisters. There's an art storyline, an older romance story, and late bloomer starts taking on several meanings by the novel's end.Personally, I can't wait to try making these cakes:1-2-3-4 CakeBurnt Sugar Cake with Maple IcingThanks to the publisher for providing early access to this title via Edelweiss. It comes out July 17, 2018.
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  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Pamela Dorman Books for this free review copy!.One of my top books of the summer of 2018, and actually on my list of favorites of ALL of 2018! This was a heartprint book for me ~ I will love it forever and will recommend it over and over and over again, and it has earned a place front and center on the top of my living room bookshelf..Small town + FOOD + farms + sisters + a love interest + a BORDER COLLIE + a female character over the age of 40 + art + just all my favorite things = LOV Thanks to Pamela Dorman Books for this free review copy!.One of my top books of the summer of 2018, and actually on my list of favorites of ALL of 2018! This was a heartprint book for me ~ I will love it forever and will recommend it over and over and over again, and it has earned a place front and center on the top of my living room bookshelf..Small town + FOOD + farms + sisters + a love interest + a BORDER COLLIE + a female character over the age of 40 + art + just all my favorite things = LOVE..I laughed and I cried and I just straight up swooned. This is the return to the town of Miller's last book, A CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, but is not in any way a sequel. If you read that one, you'll recognize a few favorite people, but you can 100% read this on its own. I would highly recommend CITY BAKER though if you haven't read it yet - I adored it..If you need a book to help you regain your faith in humanity, this is it.
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  • Jennifer S. Brown
    January 1, 1970
    When Nora Huckleberry, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, inherits the house and land of "the cake lady" Peggy Johnson, it sends her life into a tailspin. The land is left to both her and her sister, Kit, an impetuous filmmaker perpetually out of money as she plans her next big project. To complicate things, Peggy had put into works a potential sale of her land to a big box retailer that could disrupt the small town feel of Guthrie, Vermont. And, tugging at the heartstrings, Peggy's dog, Freckles, When Nora Huckleberry, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, inherits the house and land of "the cake lady" Peggy Johnson, it sends her life into a tailspin. The land is left to both her and her sister, Kit, an impetuous filmmaker perpetually out of money as she plans her next big project. To complicate things, Peggy had put into works a potential sale of her land to a big box retailer that could disrupt the small town feel of Guthrie, Vermont. And, tugging at the heartstrings, Peggy's dog, Freckles, has run off and Nora is on a mission to find him (and to reassure those who are nervous reading about dogs for fear of them coming to harm, Freckles is well cared for by the community as he escapes capture).This book charmed me straight through. Life is complex for Nora--the representative of the big box corporation is awfully cute, her finances are struggling, and her ex-husband is dating a woman half his age--but she's funny, works hard, and I was pulling for her the whole way through. Her relationship with her sister is occasionally tempestuous but always amusing, and the family drama felt real and heartwarming. This book took turns that surprised and delighted me and that were completely unexpected.While this is a stand-alone novel, fans of The City Baker's Guide to Country Living will take pleasure in revisiting the town of Guthrie and catching a glimpse of a few residents who we already know and love. And if City Baker made you hungry for pies, watch out! The Late Bloomers' Club will have you craving cake and lots of it! Late Bloomers' is an absolutely delectable pleasure! (Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced review copy)
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  • Debbie Hathaway
    January 1, 1970
    This book touched my heart. It is a story of family, community, and discovery and brings back memories of living outside a very small town in South Dakota. It is full of unique and delightful characters that care for each other and their community. Nora finds out just how much she, her family, and her diner mean to the community when disaster strikes. It is a beautiful and warm tale of belonging, relationships, and not letting your dreams pass you by.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    What a welcome return and welcome escape to Guthrie, Vermont, home to The Sugar Maple Inn from THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, Miller's first novel. THE LATE BLOOMERS' CLUB turns the focus to town, the Miss Guthrie Diner, and Nora Huckleberry, born, raised and destined it seems to stay in Guthrie. When local cake lady, Peggy Johnson, literally take a turn for the worse, everything gets tossed upside down. Peggy's will designates Nora and her kooky sister Kit as heirs to her expansive p What a welcome return and welcome escape to Guthrie, Vermont, home to The Sugar Maple Inn from THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, Miller's first novel. THE LATE BLOOMERS' CLUB turns the focus to town, the Miss Guthrie Diner, and Nora Huckleberry, born, raised and destined it seems to stay in Guthrie. When local cake lady, Peggy Johnson, literally take a turn for the worse, everything gets tossed upside down. Peggy's will designates Nora and her kooky sister Kit as heirs to her expansive property which a big-box store has had its eye on developing. The developer Eliot seems sweet and thoughtful, especially as he and Nora share a keen interest not just in making the best decision for town and property, but in locating Freckles, the dog that went missing when Peggy Johnson hit the old oak tree. Sweet mysteries are baked into this charming and satisfying novel. And, the cake baking! I wish this novel was scratch-and-sniff because I could practically smell and taste that Burnt Sugar Cake.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    No sophomore slump here! This blend of comfort food, baking, heartwarming relationships, and small town life, along with dashes of artistic discovery and family interplay, yields a tasty and satisfying concoction. Grab a piece of cake and settle in for a very enjoyable read. (And, hey, the main character is much closer to 50 than 20, so that was a plus for me, too,)
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  • Cass
    January 1, 1970
    Small town. Charming characters. Food everywhere. Diner vibes. This book was made for me LOVE LOVE LOVE.
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Louise Miller has done it again. This time with The Late Bloomer's Club.A touching story about Miss Guthrie's Diner owner -Nora- who was content in life till her sister Kit inherits Peggy Johnson's home and property (the beloved cake lady).Guthrie town folks are divided over the sale.Nora's not ready to give up just yet as the fight is real and personal.Elliot the big box developer rep who wanted to purchase the property may just have to deal with Nora. Could these two become friends? Perhaps wo Louise Miller has done it again. This time with The Late Bloomer's Club.A touching story about Miss Guthrie's Diner owner -Nora- who was content in life till her sister Kit inherits Peggy Johnson's home and property (the beloved cake lady).Guthrie town folks are divided over the sale.Nora's not ready to give up just yet as the fight is real and personal.Elliot the big box developer rep who wanted to purchase the property may just have to deal with Nora. Could these two become friends? Perhaps work together?Would they be able to come towards and or reach a mutual agreement for the sake of all those who loved Peggy?Will cakes be once more added to the menu?This was pure magic by Louise Miller.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    In 2016, Louise Miller arrived on the scene with her debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. It was an instant favorite of mine, so I was thrilled to check out her sophomore novel. Seeing that her debut set the bar, this one lived up to my expectations. Louise takes us back to the fictional town of Guthrie, Vermont. The descriptions make the town come to life and everything is easy to visualize. I could practically taste all the food as it was being described. The diner setting ga In 2016, Louise Miller arrived on the scene with her debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. It was an instant favorite of mine, so I was thrilled to check out her sophomore novel. Seeing that her debut set the bar, this one lived up to my expectations. Louise takes us back to the fictional town of Guthrie, Vermont. The descriptions make the town come to life and everything is easy to visualize. I could practically taste all the food as it was being described. The diner setting gave off the feel of the movie Waitress. I really enjoyed the relationships and dynamics between the characters, whether it was Nora and Kit, Nora and Max, Nora and Elliot, Kit and Max, Nora and Fern, Fern and Charlie, etc. There were some great intimate moments, whether they were about family, friendship, or romance. Even though Peggy passes away at the beginning of the story, her presence is felt throughout. Nora is a very sympathetic character whom I found instantly relatable. I could easily see us hanging out as friends. With all the surprises being thrown into the story, I didn't feel that it was predictable at all. I enjoyed not knowing what was in store. Although the ending tied up nicely, I enjoyed where everything led and was glad for the ending Louise gave us. I enjoyed being back in Guthrie and revisiting with characters from City Baker. However, you should definitely read that novel first (and you will be glad you did), as there are some spoilers in regards to what Livvy is up to these days. Overall, another delicious comfort read. I already can't wait for whatever Louise comes up with next. Perhaps she'll take Kit's story even further...Movie casting ideas:Nora: Emily DeschanelKit: Alison BrieElliot: Paul AdelsteinMax: John Patrick AmedoriCharlie: Nick OffermanFern: Cara BuonoSean: Oliver Hudson
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the sense of belonging that Nora felt for her small Vermont town, Guthrie. Nora runs the local diner, after taking care of her late mother, late father, and her younger sister. Putting aside her art for the practical realities, Nora is in some financial trouble after inheriting land that is mired in back taxes. A large company wants to buy the land, which would solve Nora’s and her sister Kate’s problems, but Guthrie would be the loser. Wonderful lovable characters, plus a story that wil I loved the sense of belonging that Nora felt for her small Vermont town, Guthrie. Nora runs the local diner, after taking care of her late mother, late father, and her younger sister. Putting aside her art for the practical realities, Nora is in some financial trouble after inheriting land that is mired in back taxes. A large company wants to buy the land, which would solve Nora’s and her sister Kate’s problems, but Guthrie would be the loser. Wonderful lovable characters, plus a story that will stay in your heart, I recommend for anyone looking for a heartwarming read.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars to this gem!The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller is the perfect feel-good read full of small-town charm, comfort food, sympathetic and heartwarming characters, and country living. A truly endearing tale that will put a smile on your face and make you crave cake (my personal favorite) the entire time you're reading! I can't wait to try the recipe at the end of the book for Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Icing...sounds delicious!Guthrie, Vermont is home of the Miss Guthrie Diner where e 4.5 stars to this gem!The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller is the perfect feel-good read full of small-town charm, comfort food, sympathetic and heartwarming characters, and country living. A truly endearing tale that will put a smile on your face and make you crave cake (my personal favorite) the entire time you're reading! I can't wait to try the recipe at the end of the book for Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Icing...sounds delicious!Guthrie, Vermont is home of the Miss Guthrie Diner where everyone comes for Nora Huckleberry's fresh coffee, apple cider donuts, pancakes, the perfect grilled cheese, and town gossip. Nora grew up in the diner that her parents opened and has been running it ever since her dad died. It's not exactly the dream she envisioned for herself decades ago, but it's her responsibility and she's happiest taking care of her customers and being part of the community.Suddenly Nora, along with her free-spirited, younger sister Kit, who left Guthrie as soon as she was old enough to pursue her dreams of being an actress, shockingly inherit 200 acres, a house, and an apple orchard when their neighbor Peggy Johnson, "the cake lady" dies.The sisters are divided on what to do with the sale of the 200 acres. Kit wants to use the money to fund her movie, but Nora doesn't feel that selling it to the HG Corporation so they can build a big-box store in town is the right answer for her small community. Even the community is divided about whether selling the land to the corporation is progress or will ruin Guthrie's small-town charm and ruin small town businesses.In the meantime, Nora is falling for Elliott, HG's representative, and it's mutual. Together they keep looking for Freckles, Peggy's dog who took off when she died (he's found, so don't despair dog lovers!!). So a touch of romance blooms in the book too...This is such a lovely story. The characters are what made it such a wonderful read. They feel so real and fully drawn out. I'm sure you've met someone like the characters in Guthrie in real life. They're warm, quirky, compassionate, cynical, witty, passionate, caring, selfish at times. Certainly, Nora and Kit had their sibling squabbles as siblings do but forgiveness and love were always tantamount.Miller conveys the importance of family, community, belonging, the passion of your convictions, doing what's right, and never giving up on your dreams no matter how old you are in The Late Bloomers' Club. I certainly recommend this heartwarming read. It's perfect for summer!**Thank you, Edelweiss and Pamela Dorman Books for an ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. **
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I won an advanced reader's edition of this book. This is a charming story. Nora has lived in Guthrie Vermont her whole life. Her parents ran the diner in the this small town. Nora has known tragedy; her mother died when she was 13 and she had to help raise her younger sister Kit. Her father drank too much. She ran the diner from a young age and still works there. Nora gets news that the local "cake lady" has died and has left her farm to Nora. Nora also inherits the debts left by Peggy the cake I won an advanced reader's edition of this book. This is a charming story. Nora has lived in Guthrie Vermont her whole life. Her parents ran the diner in the this small town. Nora has known tragedy; her mother died when she was 13 and she had to help raise her younger sister Kit. Her father drank too much. She ran the diner from a young age and still works there. Nora gets news that the local "cake lady" has died and has left her farm to Nora. Nora also inherits the debts left by Peggy the cake lady, including taxes and finding a way to help pay for an elderly lady who Peggy has helped pay to keep her in a good home called "Pudding Hill House' She had been approached to sell some of the land to build a "big Box" store. The small town divides with their opinions of building such a store that could disrupt the small town. there is also a dog named Freckles who was with Peggy at the accident and ran off. For two months the towns people tried to catch him.{ don't worry dog lovers, Freckles does not have a dad ending} A pretty good read. I enjoyed the book. Don't want to give spoilers of any of the what happened scenes.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advance e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review!Louise Miller takes us back to Guthrie, Vermont in The Late Bloomer's Club, and this book is very nearly as charming as the author's debut, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. I loved the small town setting (felt like I was watching Gilmore Girls while reading the town meeting scenes), the passion of the town's residents for their community, and of course, Nora. While she drove me Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advance e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review!Louise Miller takes us back to Guthrie, Vermont in The Late Bloomer's Club, and this book is very nearly as charming as the author's debut, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. I loved the small town setting (felt like I was watching Gilmore Girls while reading the town meeting scenes), the passion of the town's residents for their community, and of course, Nora. While she drove me nuts at times while reading (she could be a real doormat for her sister), she was the kind of character that really resonates- not everyone feels like they've accomplished everything by middle age, and Nora struggles with the things she's lost more than appreciating what she has. With some mouthwatering food descriptions (I need grilled cheese, fries, and cake, stat), this book really hit on almost all the things I love in a book. Great characters, fabulous setting, and a satisfying story.
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  • Leigh Kramer
    January 1, 1970
    This may only be Louise Miller’s second novel but let the record reflect: if she’s writing it, I’m reading it. I feel right at home in the contemporary worlds she creates. The Guthrie townspeople we met in The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living feel like old friends so I was delighted we got to return in The Late Bloomers’ Club. The books are standalone but I love when authors set their novels in the same universe and allow readers to hunt for Easter eggs from book to book.Nora runs the diner This may only be Louise Miller’s second novel but let the record reflect: if she’s writing it, I’m reading it. I feel right at home in the contemporary worlds she creates. The Guthrie townspeople we met in The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living feel like old friends so I was delighted we got to return in The Late Bloomers’ Club. The books are standalone but I love when authors set their novels in the same universe and allow readers to hunt for Easter eggs from book to book.Nora runs the diner her parents started. It’s not just her job. It’s her identity. Her whole life is oriented around it, even the dream she set to the side. She is a steady presence, always taking care of everyone else.Her sister Kit, on the other hand, is a wild spirit. She left town to pursue her dreams and hasn’t looked much back. When Peggy the Cake Lady dies and unexpectedly leaves her house to Nora and Kit, the sisters are split on what to do about it. Nora is drawn to the house and the land and wants to protect Guthrie from HG, the corporation that wants to build a superstore there. Kit, however, wants to sell so the money can fund her film. If there’s a Rorschach test based on which sister you prefer, consider me Team Nora. It’s not so much that Nora and I have a ton in common but my heart really went out to her as she dealt with disappointments and dreams deferred and the way she wanted more for her life but somehow settled for less.In the middle of all this friction and difficult decisions, Nora is keeping an eye out for Peggy’s dog Freckles who went missing after Peggy’s accident. She’s also spending time with Elliot, the HG representative who isn’t quite as corporate as she expected.The beauty of this story lies in the characters. They are fully realized: charming, quirky, hopeful, cynical, wry, dour, kind, compassionate. Sometimes all at once. Nora and Kit are opposites who share a foundation. Charlie and Fern at the diner who are more like Nora’s family. All the townspeople in their glory. Kit’s boyfriend Max pretty much stole the show for me, from his leading ladies tattoos to his Zenisms to his enthusiasm for baking even though he’s vegan. I loved watching Nora figure out what to do about the house and in turn, her life. The inheritance forces her to ask herself some hard questions and Kit’s return forces them both to face the past. It really made me think about how we form our identity and the ways life can shift our passions and interests. But mostly, I was lost in the twists and turns of Nora’s unfolding days as she searches for Freckles, runs the diner, and figures out what she feels for Elliot. This was a well-written, lovely story. It pulled on my heartstrings and the ending left me with a profound sense of satisfaction. I don’t know if Miller will return to Guthrie in her next novel but for now, I can rest knowing the townsfolk are doing the best they can and taking care of one another in the process.Disclosure: I received an advance copy from Pamela Dorman Books in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you just need a book that isn't too heavy, but still makes you ponder things outside of your own little world, with a tinge of romance, but driven by estrogen alone, and a bit of comfort knowing that there are people out there living life, just like you. This book provides that. Louise Miller crafts a story that has truly believable characters. Nora could be your neighbor, her story could be yours. She shows the flaws that bring depth to them. The story isn't new. Guthrie is a small to Sometimes you just need a book that isn't too heavy, but still makes you ponder things outside of your own little world, with a tinge of romance, but driven by estrogen alone, and a bit of comfort knowing that there are people out there living life, just like you. This book provides that. Louise Miller crafts a story that has truly believable characters. Nora could be your neighbor, her story could be yours. She shows the flaws that bring depth to them. The story isn't new. Guthrie is a small town, on the verge of change. A large corporation is looking to buy and build in the town. Nora inherited the land that they are looking to buy. She feels like this decision weighs entirely on her. On one hand, she, and her sister, could use the money from the sale, but Nora feels that the big box would destroy the feel of the town Mix in a a slow building romance, the discovery of a sisters long held feelings about how childhood events shaped them both into who they are, and the difference between being neighborly and knowing your neighbors. I really enjoyed this book. But I felt like it was a bit rushed, maybe to either meet a deadline or to keep to a page limit. There were some holes in the story. I get that this is a method of writing. And in many cases, it worked well, but in some instances, I felt that there were introductions that happened, with inadequate tie backs, or hastily wrapped up in the end.
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  • Catherine Elcik
    January 1, 1970
    I will leave the plot summary to the many reviews that have already tread that ground and talk instead about my heart. There's a moment in THE LATE BLOOMERS' CLUB where Nora Huckleberry, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner (and more importantly the owner of a cavernous heart and a creative drive life has demanded she put on hold), shares her vision of a perfect life. Part of that vision includes a house with a room for her painting that's big enough for large canvases and space to contemplate her wo I will leave the plot summary to the many reviews that have already tread that ground and talk instead about my heart. There's a moment in THE LATE BLOOMERS' CLUB where Nora Huckleberry, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner (and more importantly the owner of a cavernous heart and a creative drive life has demanded she put on hold), shares her vision of a perfect life. Part of that vision includes a house with a room for her painting that's big enough for large canvases and space to contemplate her works in progress. "Seeing takes time," Nora tells us. The world of this novel is peopled with late bloomers who harbor dreams they stubbornly refuse to allow to fade away--a film maker, a painter, romantics looking for their perfect partners, a writer, a conservationist, lonely hearts craving community, and even a lost dog trying to find his way home. This novel reads like a a love letter to those of us holding out for a late bloom, a testament to the power of the communities we build with our kindnesses, and a transfusion of hope in these hopeless times.I'm calling it: Louise Miller is the Frank Capra of feel-good novels.
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  • Jamie Rosenblit
    January 1, 1970
    Louise Miller's debut, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, was a five star read for me last year and I had been anticipating this one since I heard about it! Luckily, Miller did not disappoint! An endearing story of the relationship between sisters in a small town who have had more than their fair share of struggles over the years, but are as different as could be. When a local townsperson passes away and leaves the sisters her estate with no rationale, things in their lives are thrown int Louise Miller's debut, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, was a five star read for me last year and I had been anticipating this one since I heard about it! Luckily, Miller did not disappoint! An endearing story of the relationship between sisters in a small town who have had more than their fair share of struggles over the years, but are as different as could be. When a local townsperson passes away and leaves the sisters her estate with no rationale, things in their lives are thrown into more of an upheaval than before. The characters in Miller's books remind me of Stars Hollow (from Gilmore Girls), a bit quirky, but all heart!Thank you to Penguin Viking for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Life doesn’t always turn out like you expect. For Nora – a string have choices, both good and bad, have led her to the place in live that is now her ‘normal’. After losing her parents, Nora and her sister were faced with the hard decisions that plague many about how to get the bills paid. With mounting debt from doctor and nursing home bills, Nora and her sister made the decision to sell their family home and many belongings. It was the only decision that they found to remedy their debt, and lea Life doesn’t always turn out like you expect. For Nora – a string have choices, both good and bad, have led her to the place in live that is now her ‘normal’. After losing her parents, Nora and her sister were faced with the hard decisions that plague many about how to get the bills paid. With mounting debt from doctor and nursing home bills, Nora and her sister made the decision to sell their family home and many belongings. It was the only decision that they found to remedy their debt, and leave Kit able to pay her sister for her half of the family diner. Miss Gutherie Diner is the ‘core’ of Nora’s family. It was the place her mother and father worked to establish a family income. A place that many in their community looked to for comfort food and neighborhood gossip. Most of all – it was a place that gave Nora’s life the purpose to continue when life didn’t always turn out the way it was supposed to. The diner was the key to Nora’s livelihood and provided an income after Nora’s divorce. A new twist in life has left Nora spellbound and in a place of ‘limbo’. After the sudden death of Peggy ‘The Cake Lady’ Johson, Nora found herself once again faced with the intense task of making those monumental life decisions once more. Peggy left more than her cake business and property to Nora and Kit. There was also a ‘deal’ that was on the table between Peggy and a large ‘big box’ business that would have epic repercussions on this quaint little town. Leaving people divided on where the future of this town should lie. There are still more surprises in store for Nora. None of which was more surprising than a secret life of Peggy’s that would leave Nora with more on her plate than one would ever expect. Small town life just became more interesting in The Late Bloomers’ Club. There is nothing like being thrown a curveball in life that is so epic, everything in your life is about to change. This is the reality that faces Nora when Peggy ‘The Cake Lady’ passes away. A newly inherited farm is turning into more than anyone could have bargained for when the mysteries of Peggy’s life begin to unravel. From Freckles the dog, to the baking of these amazing sounding cakes….everything in Gutherie, Vermont pulls you into this stand alone novel. One thing that I also found interesting about this book, Nora has already experienced so much in life. Love, loss, and the death of her parents drive Nora to make Miss Gutheries’ Diner the hot spot in town. A genuine and engaging book about small town life and the hurdles that you face when obstacles affect those around you. The Late Bloomers’ Club is more than a ‘chick lit’ or women’s fiction book. It’s a journey to discovery, understanding, and living the best life that you can given the circumstances you face. I really enjoyed diving into the lives of the characters in Gutherie, and look forward to experiencing more from the author!!
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  • Lauren Rochford
    January 1, 1970
    A perfect book. I loved it *even more* than her first book, which is also perfect. Sisters, a small town diner, a missing dog, baked goods, capable (and nice and handsome) men. I plan to daydream about all of the author's food descriptions for quite some time...now who can bake me a burnt sugar cake with maple icing?!
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    It's been a long time since a book has kept me up long past midnight to finish it. Louise Miller's second novel is full of charm and surprises. In the small town of Guthrie VT, Nora Huckleberry puts everyone's needs before her own as she juggles managing her late father's diner, the return after years away of her impulsive carefree sister, small-town politics, an ex-husband, a lost dog, and a neighbor's estate that comes burdened with tax liens. Not only is the story lovely and fresh with severa It's been a long time since a book has kept me up long past midnight to finish it. Louise Miller's second novel is full of charm and surprises. In the small town of Guthrie VT, Nora Huckleberry puts everyone's needs before her own as she juggles managing her late father's diner, the return after years away of her impulsive carefree sister, small-town politics, an ex-husband, a lost dog, and a neighbor's estate that comes burdened with tax liens. Not only is the story lovely and fresh with several surprising twists, but Louise is a master at writing about food. I could almost taste the sweetness of the corn and feel the butter dripping down my chin as I read! Great summer read!***I won an advance copy of this novel in a Goodreads giveaway!***
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  • Ann Mah
    January 1, 1970
    Written with insight, honesty, and dry wit, THE LATE-BLOOMERS' CLUB is as cheery and warming as a campfire, an escape into a world where the cakes are homemade, the summer evenings glimmer with fireflies, and thoughtfulness always triumphs.
  • Rebecca Foster
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5) Set about five years after Miller’s debut novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, this also takes place in the fictional small town of Guthrie, Vermont, and mentions some of the same characters. However, here the protagonist and narrator is 42-year-old divorcee Nora Huckleberry, who has run the town diner since her parents’ death and long ago sidelined her passion for art to fund the adventures of her little sister, a flighty filmmaker named Kit. When Nora and Kit unexpectedly inh (3.5) Set about five years after Miller’s debut novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, this also takes place in the fictional small town of Guthrie, Vermont, and mentions some of the same characters. However, here the protagonist and narrator is 42-year-old divorcee Nora Huckleberry, who has run the town diner since her parents’ death and long ago sidelined her passion for art to fund the adventures of her little sister, a flighty filmmaker named Kit. When Nora and Kit unexpectedly inherit the home and land of Peggy the cake lady, they have to decide whether to sell to HG, a Walmart-type corporation that sent a handsome scout, Elliot Danforth, to see whether Guthrie is a suitable store location.This isn’t as purely enjoyable as City Baker’s, and there’s a bit too much going on what with mentions of hobbies like baking, painting, photography and classic films, as well as a lost dog, a festival, town meetings, a hidden orchard and sculpture garden, and so on. But the small-town charm and the predictable-but-sweet romance make this a fun and easy read, and it’s heartwarming to see Nora come into her own as she appreciates all she has to be grateful for in Guthrie.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful, sweet read📚📚
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this follow up to The City Baker's Guide to Country Living. Here's my review on my blog:https://bookaliciousbabe.blogspot.com...
  • Chris Markley
    January 1, 1970
    Nora has always lived in the same small Vermont town her whole life raising her sister after her Mother died and taking over the diner when her Dad could no longer run it and eventually died. She (and her sister) suddenly finds herself inheriting a house, land, and so much more when Peggy the cake maker unexpectedly dies. But Peggy was in negotiations with a Big Box store and had debts including the care of Elsie in a nursing home. Nora takes everything on, including financing her sister Kit's m Nora has always lived in the same small Vermont town her whole life raising her sister after her Mother died and taking over the diner when her Dad could no longer run it and eventually died. She (and her sister) suddenly finds herself inheriting a house, land, and so much more when Peggy the cake maker unexpectedly dies. But Peggy was in negotiations with a Big Box store and had debts including the care of Elsie in a nursing home. Nora takes everything on, including financing her sister Kit's movie even though she is barely making ends meet. Nora discovers the unexpected, about what Peggy has left her and herself when she tries to please the entire town when deciding what to do with the land. Things are made more interesting when the representative of the Big Box store is not a money grubbing person. A perfect light, happy read for a long weekend or vacation.Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for providing an ARC for my honest review.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much. I'll return with a more thorough review. However, if you haven't read the first book in this "companionable" series, THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, add it to your summer reading list.Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.
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  • Sherry
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAnyone who likes women’s fiction should give Louise Miller’s novels a try. In my opinion, her debut book and this one are both excellent examples of the genre.The Late Bloomer’s Club returns readers to Guthrie, Vermont, an idyllic New England town. The story is narrated by Nora Huckleberry, the owner of the town’s beloved diner. When she and her sister Kit inherit the property of a neighbor, Nora must choose whether she will give in to Kit’s desire to sell the land to a company that bui 3.5 starsAnyone who likes women’s fiction should give Louise Miller’s novels a try. In my opinion, her debut book and this one are both excellent examples of the genre.The Late Bloomer’s Club returns readers to Guthrie, Vermont, an idyllic New England town. The story is narrated by Nora Huckleberry, the owner of the town’s beloved diner. When she and her sister Kit inherit the property of a neighbor, Nora must choose whether she will give in to Kit’s desire to sell the land to a company that builds big box stores. Nora has lived her life caring for others, including her sister, and now she must decide what’s best for the entire town of Guthrie, a decision that is complicated by her attraction to the company’s representative, Elliot. But what’s best for the town may not be best for Nora, and at 42, Nora’s starting to wonder—when does she get to start living her life for herself?This is a gentle read, as you might expect from a book where a major plot point involves trying to find a lost dog. Guthrie itself is one of those fictional places that’s just too good to be true; I picture it as kind of like Stars Hallow from Gilmore Girls (although the town’s population isn’t nearly as quirky as the folks on the TV show). While it seems like Nora and Kit should really be butting heads about their decision to sell, the conflict between them is relatively mild, muted by their genuine affection for each other. Most of the conflict in the book is internal, as Nora tries to figure out what she wants to do for others and for herself. Even the sweet romance between Nora and Elliot is very low key.So, it’s maybe not the right choice for anyone looking for a book filled with drama and angst, but I’d recommend it to readers looking for a feel-good women’s fiction novel.A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Nora is used to doing whatever is best for everyone else. Her mom died when she was young and she basically became a maternal figure to her wild child sister Kit.Kit has the luxury of pursuing her dreams because she can always count on Nora to come to her rescue.When the local cake lady passes away, it sets a string of events into motion. First, her dog runs away. Then, Nora and Kit inherit her house and land. And it brings a rep to town from a Walmart equivalent who wants to buy the land.Sudden Nora is used to doing whatever is best for everyone else. Her mom died when she was young and she basically became a maternal figure to her wild child sister Kit.Kit has the luxury of pursuing her dreams because she can always count on Nora to come to her rescue.When the local cake lady passes away, it sets a string of events into motion. First, her dog runs away. Then, Nora and Kit inherit her house and land. And it brings a rep to town from a Walmart equivalent who wants to buy the land.Suddenly, Nora has a lot extra on her plate. Her sister wants to sell everything because she needs the money. The town does not want Nora to sell because it could change their small town in major ways. And the rep from the store, named Elliot, just might get Nora interested in dating again.Some things I loved:Revisiting this adorable town. The author set this book in the same town as her first book and I remember reading that and saying I hoped her next book would revisit the town. So, yay! This is such a darling small town.Nora inheriting the cake baking business too.Elliot...seriously, this guy went out of his way to try to help Nora catch the missing dog Freckles.The way the town rallied around each other.The corn and tomato festival! I would love to go to this festival if it were real.Max, Kit’s boyfriend, he actually brought the sisters closer together at every possible chance.The sculptures. So cool and magical sounding.Kit’s selfishness got on my nerves at times. Nora deserved better. Another great book by this author. This would make the cutest premise for a tv show.I can’t wait to see what she’ll write next!
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Too often an author has a wonderful first book and then can't follow up with the next one. I am happy to report that Louise Miller's wonderful first book (The City Baker's Guide to Country Living) is followed up by this fantastic second book. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.This novel takes the reader back to Guthrie Vermont - a very small town with some interesting and sometimes quirky residents. Nora is the owner of the diner in town. Her father built the diner and she took it Too often an author has a wonderful first book and then can't follow up with the next one. I am happy to report that Louise Miller's wonderful first book (The City Baker's Guide to Country Living) is followed up by this fantastic second book. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.This novel takes the reader back to Guthrie Vermont - a very small town with some interesting and sometimes quirky residents. Nora is the owner of the diner in town. Her father built the diner and she took it over as she grew up. She has spent her whole life taking care of other people - her mother when she had breast cancer, her father when he had Alzheimer's - her sister Kit after her mother died - the people she works with and the people of the town. She knows who everyone is, what they will order for breakfast and when they need help. When the 'cake lady' dies and leaves her home to Nora and Kit, they have to make a decision whether to sell the land to a big box store that has made a fantastic offer or to keep the house and the land and strive to keep Guthrie the same small town its always been.I loved the characters in this book - especially Nora. She tried so hard to help everyone and neglected her own wants and needs. Also Vermont is so wonderfully described that I feel like I have visited the small town of Guthrie and enjoyed the scenery in the area. This was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it.Thanks to First to Read for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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