Friendship Bread, by Darien Gee (review & giveaway)
5 STARS! *****
Available April 19, 2011 from Ballantine Books.
About the book (from Amazon) -
One afternoon, Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and a request to share it with others.
Still reeling from a personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend, Julia remains at a loss as to how to move on with her life. She’d just as soon toss the anonymous gift, but to make Gracie happy, she agrees to bake the bread.
When Julia meets two newcomers to the small town of Avalon, Illinois, she sparks a connection by offering them her extra bread starter. Widow Madeline Davis is laboring to keep her tea salon afloat while Hannah Wang De Brisay, a famed concert cellist, is at a crossroads, her career and marriage having come to an abrupt end. In the warm kitchen of Madeline’s tea salon, the three women forge a friendship that will change their lives forever.
In no time, everyone in Avalon is baking Amish Friendship Bread. But even as the town unites for a benevolent cause and Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.
About life and loss, friendship and community, food and family, Friendship Bread tells the uplifting story of what endures when even the unthinkable happens.
About the Author -
Darien Gee lives in Hawaii with her husband and three children. She is also the author of three novels under the name Mia King. To learn more about Darien and the inspiration behind FRIENDSHIP BREAD, visit her at www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com.
My Review - I loved this book! Simple as that. It was very sweet, heartfelt, and intense at times. There are a handful of main characters (Julia - suffering after the lose of her son, Hannah - whose husband walks out on her, Madeline - a widow starting her own business, Connie - young woman who just lost her job, Livvy - Julia's estranged sister) and lots of other minor characters. Even with all the people to keep track of, it is never confusing. Darien does an excellent job of introducing and building on all the people in this story.
The town, Avalon, seems like a wonderful place to live or visit. It is a quaint small town near Chicago, with nice houses, a Tea room, and great residents, and of course Friendship bread!
The story is all based around "Amish Friendship Bread" and how it changed the town and its people. Somehow the sharing of this bread and its recipes bring the people of this town closer. Women who were hurting from broken homes or tragedies much worse begin to open up and trust again. Friendships are built and families are brought back together. In the end "Operation Friendship Bread" brings together the whole town to help after the devastation of a flood.
"Friendship. Family. Community. And all thanks to a single bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter.I loved the whole idea behind this book. It was very original. Not to mention the gorgeous cover! The ending of this story was equally as great, in the last 10 pages I actually said "AWWWWW" out loud, twice (with tears in my eyes)! OH!!! Also not to mention all the recipes in the back!!!
Google "Amish Friendship Bread" on your computer and be prepared to have enough reading for a week. It's a slice of American contemporary history, an edible chain letter that fills people with equal amounts of hope and dread. But for the families in Barrett and Avalon, it's quickly become the epitome of what brings people - and towns - together."
Thank you "Librarything early reviewers" for sending me this book to review. This was a good one!
The Giveaway -This is a great book, do not miss out on this giveaway!
*To enter - comment here or contact me - forevereading at gmail dot com
*Please be from the US or Canada
*Winner will be chosen and announced on Feb 28th
*Winner must contact me within 48 hrs or a new winner will be chosen