Review: Friendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee

Friendship BreadFriendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee

  • ISBN-13: 9780345525345
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:

An anonymous gift sends a woman on a journey she never could have anticipated.
 
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.

My Thoughts: 

Friendship Bread is one of those books that is just so really that you feel like you have been picked up and placed right down in the middle of the small town of Avalon.  Like every small town it feels like everyone knows everyone’s business and it can be difficult for a newcomer to fit in or a long time resident to heal from a disaster.  What starts as a simple bag of Amish Friendship Bread Starter, turns things all upside down for a few select women of Avalon each with their own challenges and brings them together to do amazing things, things that none of them would ever imagine doing.  Along the way, the lives of so many more woman are touched.

I really enjoyed this book because despite the pain and frustration that some of the women were going through it was just a feel good book by the end, but the kind of feel good that is just true and honest.  Not Happily Ever After Romance feel good but just people being reunited and people coming together for things bigger than themselves.  I enjoyed the pace that the book moved along in and getting to know so many different women and their stories.  Each is very different and how they cross into each other is nothing less than amazing. 

Now I have the recipe to start Amish Friendship bread but I just don’t know that I know enough people to keep something like this going but it sure does sound great!  And so many different ways to make it.  I think that books that have some food around them are fun!  I love to cook so having someone share a great recipe is always a great thing.

My Rating

4 Penguins, a fun loving and heart warming book.