From Goodreads: 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.
Received from Library Thing Early Reviewers Program
Book Releases: 4/19/11
What I Loved: This was a story about the healing power of new friendships. Everyone in this book had something they needed to work through and the friendships they formed helped each one start living a more authentic life for them. The story was not overly sappy but instead it was more like a nice even flow of storytelling and drama. If you have ever seen the movie Valentine’s Day, this book is broken down a lot like that. Each chapter introduces you to or follows up on a story of a character. You learn more about all of the characters through their interactions probably more so when they are not the focus. Overall, this book just held a powerful message: Everyone needs people that they are not afraid to be themselves around—good, bad, or indifferent. The second powerful message is that a strong community can do wonderful things when they pull together. (Not a Spoiler) The last few chapters of the book were my favorite because of the community coming together.
What I Liked: The recipes in the back of the book. I thought this was a sweet touch and also a great way to make the book a little interactive for readers.
Why I Gave it a 4: This is a book that pulls at the heartstrings and leaves you with hope.
Who would I recommend this too: General Fiction and Inspirational Readers. I need to explain this further: this is not my normal read but the premise really appealed to me. This is not Religious at all and has nothing to do with the Amish/Christian/or any other Religion. It is more inspirational and heart warming. It will probably not appeal to those looking for a romantic or action story. The pacing is slower than those stories are and the book is more about life than anything else. Even though it is not non-fiction, think more of a Eat, Pray, Love type of feel to the book.
Author Website: http://www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com/