When I first started reading The Baker's Wife, I wasn't sure if I'd like it due to all the horrible reviews. I have to admit that it was a bit hard to get into through the first few chapters. About 4 chapters into the story it really picked up.
The main character, Audrey Bofinger, has a gift of compassion that borders on the supernatural. I usually have a hard time with supernatural in Christian fiction. Ultimately I was able to accept it as an interesting part of Audrey's character because it didn't rule the story, it was more described as a gift of the spirit than something supernatural. Also, it was symbolic because as Christians, we may not be able to physically feel the emotional pain of others like the main character, Audrey does, but at times many of us are afraid to get close to others because we are scared of feeling others pain.
There are a number of issues that are approached in this novel, including abortion, broken relationships, forgiveness, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, revenge and religious legalism. Audrey and her family seem like they are being unfairly treated at times, but even though they are Christian characters they are not perfect and have their flaws as well. The antagonist of the story was (or claimed to be) a Christian. A Christian whom has become very legalistic and who quotes Bible versus at random to excuse his own behavior . Then the other supporting characters were all written like people we all would know or could relate to.
The overall story is well done and full of suspense and the mystery is fairly good. It's a good read and I enjoyed it though, I'm not sure if I'd read another unless, I stumble upon one. 3.5 stars enjoyable and interesting.