With the holidays drawing near, Charlotte is starting to feel the pinch of having three extra mouths to feed. A cooking demonstration, plus a little nudging from her good friends, inspires Charlotte to start a pie-baking business to bring in some extra income in this busy time of year. She decides to make it a family affair, hoping that teaching the kids to bake will bring the family together, but when her business takes off, the whole thing becomes bigger than any of them ever imagined—or wanted. Meanwhile, Sam is pining for a car, Emily is on a campaign to improve the food served at Bedford High, and Christopher befriends a lonely outsider whose one mistake leads to a life-and-death situation. In the midst of so many trials, will Charlotte be able to maintain a spirit of thankfulness? Will she even have anything to be thankful for?
Nom nom nom. That's all I could say after reading this book. If I could eat what I read, this entire series would make me gain so much weight. This book features pies, and lots of them. I would have loved to help out Charlotte and her pie making business, although I will admit I might have been one of those sneaking away bites during the cooking process! Charlotte sounds like a wonderful cook who does enjoy cooking, although probably not for such high numbers with a deadline.
This book is a great combination of food, family, and friendship. Even with the fourth different writer contributing to the series, there is still continuity and flow within the books. Honestly, except for little tweaks here and there, I would not have been able to tell this book had been written by a different author. The characters' personalities remain the same as are the feelings and struggles they face. While the author has put his personal touches here and there, it's still very nice to read about the family and still have that same familiarity. Once again I appreciate that the teens in the family are portrayed with respect towards what real teens go through and are not treated as cardboard characters.
The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that Charlotte could not seem to say no to anyone. I understood that she wanted to help out everyone and didn't want to disappoint anybody. However there comes a time when you have to realize you can't please everyone and you can't do everything. It just took Charlotte a long time to realize this. I also don't understand why the townsfolk didn't seem to think that this could possibly be overwhelming for Charlotte. I would have thought in a small town this would have been easily noticeable. It was just a bit disheartening to see close friends seem to take advantage of Charlotte. Other than this, there's nothing to complain at all about this book and this entire series. Once again this is an excellent addition to the Heather Creek saga and I enjoyed spending time with the family. Looking forward to returning for another adventure! Homespun Harvest by Robert Elmer is published by Guideposts (2008)