Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Friendship Bread - Book Review

I have just finished reading the novel "Friendship Bread" written by Hawaiian writer, Darien Gee.

It is a charming novel about long time resident, Julia Evarts, of a small US town, Avalon. Julia is still in the throes of dealing with the tragic death of her eldest child, whilst under the care of her sister, Livvy, who was also her dearest friend. Sadly this placed a wedge between the two sisters and Julia just doesn't seem to be able to move on despite having a supportive husband, Mark and beautiful little five year old girl, Gracie.

One day some "Amish Friendship Bread" is left on Julia's doorstep with a note saying "I hope you enjoy it". Also included is a bag of starter, some instructions and a request to share it with others. It's shared a bit like a chain letter.

She ends up meeting a couple of ladies new to town, an elderly widow named Madeline, who has shifted there to open tea rooms from her home and a famed cellist, Hannah who also moves to Avalon, expecting to start a new life with her husband. In actual fact Hannah's husband was was just removing her from his life, whilst he continues his career with the orchestra, so she is dealing with his rejection along with the loss of her career.

The three strangers forge a friendship at Madeleine's Tea Rooms which is really lovely. You also hear about Livvy's who really, really misses her sister, along with a couple of other characters lives sprinkled throughout.  

Throughout the novel the bread starter is passed through the town with everyone making bread with some residents actually sick of it, although towards the end, the town ends up uniting for a benevolent cause with the bread at the heart of it.

I enjoyed the book, it was sweet and interesting and had a cheerful and happy ending.

I am also now simply dying to try "Amish Friendship Bread", which by the way is described more as a cake than a bread (think banana bread). They have included a pile of recipes and information for your own starter at the end of the book. There's also a link up on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out link for the recipe for the starter!

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