In the first few pages, the mood is set The book appears to be one that will be pleasant to read It is about love, friendship, relationships and all the myriad things that can happen to someone in their lives, both good and bad The author speaks in a charming, simple tone and makes you feel right at home, just like the friendship bread which seems to be at the core of the story, the theme that ties it all together.It is an easy book to read, perhapslike a beach read Although it seems like a very light book, written very simplistically, it imparts a message about friendship which is open to many interpretations If we explore how each of us thinks we go about making friends or what each of us considers to be the meaning of friendship or commitment, we could probably have a very lively discussion Although it is not a book of great depth, and some of the characters are a bit weak and shallow, I would not dismiss it It tackles so many subjects that have great depth death of a child, death of a husband, divorce, estrangement in families, infidelity, pregnancy, ambition, self respect and relationships in general etc It is because of that, that I believe it would be a marvelous book to discuss in a group.Julia has lost a child, Hannah, a former concert cellist, is going through a divorce, Madeline, the elderly owner of the town tea shop, is suffering from her own period of adjustment and loneliness after the death of her husband, Livvy is estranged from her sister and she and her husband are having deep financial difficulties And then there is Edie unmarried, living with the town doctor , the reporter who exposes the Friendship Bread to the world and with it hurt several people in the process She struck an angry nerve within me Consumed with self interest, she writes her story, and instead of emphasizing the goodness of the effort, she emphasizes the negatives in an attempt to gain fame for herself and play gotcha with someone s life without thinking about the consequences of the act she has committed She is a caricature of today s journalist, willing to do anything to get the story, regardless of whether or not the facts are stretched or even real Another character who tries to throw a monkey wrench into other people s lives is Vivian She is an over ambitious, unhappy woman who will stop at nothing to get ahead She doesn t respect the bonds of marriage, the protocols of her office or the boundaries imposed by its hierarchy and has an overblown idea of her own importance.Oddly, I felt as if the men in the story were portrayed softer, weaker perhaps, at times, buthuman too as characters they seemed filled with positive energy and were definitely without the emotional excesses of many of the women cast in the novel They seemed put upon by life, innocent in the whirlwind that engulfed them while the women seemed to bethe cause of their own problems because of their own weaknesses or insecurities.There are several extraneous characters whose stories suddenly appear without any serious development Some of the characters seem like caricatures of themselves, and often, the dialog is trite and the situations seem over used That said the redeeming feature of the book is its ability to empathize with, and also illustrate, the issues that confront all of us today, in one way or another Also, it is a fairy tale and who doesn t like a fairy tale with a happy ending I loved this book I loved how a simple loaf of bread touched an entire town and how the main characters stories all were intertwined and everything came full circle The only negative I would have is that there was a whole slew of characters, and it was hard to keep everybody straight Overall, this was a solid, homespun story full of heart A knock out of the park Tutto Inizia Con Un Regalo A Sorpresa Un Dolce, Trovato Sull Uscio Di Casa Insieme A Un Biglietto Anonimo Spero Che Vi Piaccia E A Uno Strano Lievito Da Usare Secondo Le Istruzioni Fornite E Poi Condividere Con Amici E Vicini Un Dono Che Va Dritto Al Cuore, Come Fa Sempre La Gentilezza Inaspettata E Cos , Uno Dopo L Altro, Gli Abitanti Di Un Intera Citt S Improvvisano Pasticcieri, Conquistati Da Quell Insolita Catena Avviata Da Chiss Chi Spezzarla Non Porta Sfortuna, Se Non Quella Di Perdersi L Opportunit Di Nuove Amicizie Perch Dietro Ogni Porta Si Nasconde Una Storia Da Scoprire Come Quella Di Julia, Che Si Chiusa In Se Stessa Dopo Un Grande Dolore Di Cui Non Riesce Nemmeno A Parlare O Quella Di Hannah, Che Non Sa Che Fare Della Vita Dopo La Fine Del Suo Matrimonio O Ancora, Quella Di Madeline, Che Per Qualche Motivo Inspiegabile Ha Deciso Di Ricominciare Da Quella Piccola Citt , Dove Ha Aperto Una Sala Da T Un Angolo Accogliente In Cui Dispensa Le Delizie Della Sua Cucina, Accompagnate Da Infusi Fragranti Certo, Non Sempre Cuori Infranti E Occasioni Perdute Si Possono Aggiustare Come Un Piatto A Cui Manca Un Po Di Sale A Volte, Nella Vita Necessario Ripartire Da Zero Ma Imparare Ad Aprire Il Proprio Cuore Gi Un Ottimo Inizio One afternoon, Julia Evarts and small daughter, Gracie, come home to find a gift on the front porch a homemade loaf of Friendship Bread and a simple note I hope you enjoy it With the bread is a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread, and a request to share it with others.Julia decides to share the bread starter with two newcomers to town and that begins a friendship that changes lives, theirs and others This is a wonderful story about friendship, life and loss More importantly it is a story about the good that can come from a community who pulls together I loved this story and hope Darien Gee writes another soon Healing comes from an unexpected gift friendship bread The story follows the lives of five women, all at different painful areas of life and all of them struggling alone from the weight of the pain they are going through One day, Julia comes home to find a plate with a loaf of bread, and a recipe for friendship bread Her five year old daughter Gracie pleads for her to make the recipe because she wanted her daddy to try some of it And in 10 days, Julia is left with bags of starter and sends them to school with Gracie What happens is an epidemic of friendship bread While the bread is a sweet spot in the story, the pain and grief the women and families that are the focus of the story is not Ms Gee has written this story so well that the reader feels the pain and heartache of each character The reader cannot help but cry, feel hope, smile, laugh, and cry somewhile reading friendship bread This is one of my new favorite books and having the recipes to play with is just an added bonus I have chosen for my book club to read Friendship Bread this fall. I m a sucker for feel good stories that focus on friendship, so I went back to Avalon, Illinois, Darien Gee s fictional small town Friendship Bread is the novel before The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and introduces us readers to Avalon and Madeline Davis and her Tea Salon before her establishment became the town s hub.It all starts with an elderly man A man who knows and loves his neighbors One neighbor is Julia Evarts She hardly ever leaves her house anyThe house is no longer a home The joy died five years ago with her son, Josh But an unexpected gift of an Amish Friendship Bread Starter and loaf will lead Julia back to the land of the living and will also transform both her and Avalon in many ways.Hannah, Madeline, and Julia are wonderful characters They are so well developed that I am longing to meet them and the rest of the Avaloneons To me, that is a gift from an author whom creates a world and characters that you want to inhabit and befriend yourself. I can t really say I didn t like it because I never finished it There are too many GOOD books out there so I decided not to sit through this mediocre one I m possibly being unfair since I recently read some really good stories just before trying this out For me, a good book grabs you right from the start and never lets you go until you reach that last page When you have to get up and do something else, you find yourself still thinking about what s going on, and you do whatever it takes to be able to get back to it to find out what happens next It probably got better after the spot where I called it quits, but for me it was a sleeper, and really did put me to sleep I did not relate with any of the characters and never once came anywhere close to losing myself in the story which is one way I measure a novel s worth From the cover, it looks inviting And usually I really CAN judge a book by its cover But this time I was wrong. This book is just as warm, delightful, cozy, fragrant and delicious as the Amish friendship bread that brings this town, these families and friends together Food has a healing power to break down walls, and this book is a good example of that. It s not often that a book makes my eyes tear up, but this book managed to do so I d never heard of Darien Gee or Amish Friendship Bread before For the first 50 pages or so, I just kind of plodded along, enjoying it well enough but not finding it particularly outstanding But somewhere along the way I got so sucked in that I didn t want to put the book down to go to sleep There are a lot of characters, and keeping up with all of them may be part of why it took me a bit to really get my bearings But as the pages turned, the characters distinct personalities came through and I felt connected to them I really cared about them and what would happen in their lives, especially Julia and her sister, Livvy Not every author can make you feel that way about her or his characters I m debating whether I want to try any of the friendship bread recipes in the back of the book My seventeen year old daughter recently commented that maybe she should be a baker some day, so she might enjoy trying it with me, and there s a recipe for Double Chocolate Friendship Bread Kind of hard to pass that up Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel In the meantime, I looked up the author on Fantastic Fiction, and she has three other books under the name Mia King Good Things, Sweet Life, and Table Manners So I ll be tracking those down I loved this book Such a sweet story about a small town, a tragic event and a simple act of baking that brings a town together I d give it 4 stars, but I did tire a bit of the non stop talk about the friendship bread I thought there were a few too many stories about people receiving the starter and baking the bread They were scattered throughout the book and interrupted the main storyline too much I wanted to get back to the characters themselves and see how their lives would mend by the unexpected friendships they made I loved the characters and the stories of how their friendships evolved.
Darien Gee lives with her husband and three children in Hawaii She is the author of Friendship Bread A Novel, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and An Avalon Christmas.
- 459 pages
- Friendship Bread
- Darien Gee
- 03 December 2018 Darien Gee