Book Review: The Friendship Bread

Well yes, you would firmly plant this book under the “Chick Lit” category, but so what, I loved it. This was one of those feel good, make you happy, where everything ends happily, heart-warming characters, with characters where you wanted to scratch their eyes out, cheer when those characters are told, “You’re Fired!” kind of books.

It is most definitely a good story that makes you realize, understand, and cherish the importance of having girl friends in your life.  They are the ones to turn to during times of loss, and just to help in managing daily life. There is almost a “pay it forward” kind of feeling in this story as well.

I listened to this one in my car via audiobook and many times found myself anxiously looking forward to going out for a drive, just to find out what happens with Julia, Madeline, Hannah, and yes, I cheered and pumped my fist in the air when Julia’s husband Mark told the conniving, manipulative, hungry beyotch Vivienne that she was fired! Well, it was just that kind of story, with that kind of writing where you felt that kind of connection with the characters. Sure, Julia and Hannah whined sometimes, but overall, the message about the importance of friendship is one that I really, really loved.

(from Goodreads) The Friendship Bread:

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.