Review: The Ingredients of Us by Jennifer Gold


Release date: July 1, 2019

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Women’s Fiction


Elle, an accomplished baker, has a recipe for every event in her life. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Jam, maybe? Definitely jam.

Fed up with the stale crumbs of her marriage, Elle revisits past recipes and the events that inspired them. A recipe for scones reminds her of her father’s death, cinnamon rolls signify the problematic courtship with her husband, and a batch of chocolate cookies casts Elle in a less-than-flattering light. Looking back, Elle soon realizes that some ingredients were missing all along.

After confronting her husband, Elle indulges her sweet tooth in other ways, including a rebound that just leaves her more confused. As secrets from the past collide with the conflicts of the present, Elle struggles to manage her bakery business and maintain the relationships most important to her. In piecing her life back together, will Elle learn to take the bitter with the sweet?


I think we’ve all read books where a woman discovers her husband has been unfaithful but Gold was able to put her own spin on the premise with this one. This jumps from the time period after Elle discovers his betrayal to when they first met and also the years in between. The chapters are fairly short and it does jump around time wise quite a bit, but it was very easy to follow and keep up as every chapter was clearly labeled. It was fascinating to see how their relationship had changed and evolved, both for the good and the bad over the years and by the end I felt like I had a really strong sense of who Elle was and what she believed in.

I am such a sucker for any book that incorporates food into the story and Gold infused food in such a unique and fun way with this one. Elle is a baker and each of her beloved recipes reminds her of an event in her past, some incredibly happy times, but also some not so good times. No matter what, baking has been a huge part of not only her life, but who she is as a person and when she finds out her husband cheated on her she obviously turns to her comfort; baking. What was clever that instead of just having Elle bake these items she included the actual recipes as well! These also weren’t your run of the mill basic recipes either, they were full of fun little sidebars and tidbits that let Elle’s personality shine through and they also made me incredibly hungry, I’ll absolutely be trying some of these out myself.

This was a strong debut and felt like something new and fresh, it also had an ending that I wasn’t expecting and was just a really well written and well executed read. If you like foodie fiction definitely check this one out!

The Ingredients of Us in three words: Delectable, Fresh and Emotional

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

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