Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Friendship Bread: Review & Giveaway

Friendship Bread: A NovelAuthor: Darien Gee
ISBN: 978-0-345-52534-5
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions
Amazon Link: Friendship Bread: A Novel
Website: http://www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com/

In Avalon, Illinois, a woman and her young daughter return home to find a plate of Amish Friendship Bread along with a bag of starter on their doorstep. There’s no note, just a yellow sticky with the words, “I hope you enjoy it.” The instructions tell them to feed the starter over a ten-day period, then bake two loaves and share the remaining starter with three other people.

At the insistence of her five-year old daughter, Julia Evarts reluctantly follows the instructions. Soon, the bread and its starter are making their way through the town of Avalon, touching the lives of its residents in ways both comical and unexpected. Julia befriends Madeline Davis, 74, owner and proprietor of Madeline’s Tea Salon and Antiques who harbors a secret of her own, and Hannah de Brisay, 28, a concert cellist who relocates to Avalon after the premature end of her career and marriage.

Julia’s sister, Livvy, is struggling with her own loneliness as she and her husband, Tom, try for a child of their own. Julia’s husband, Mark, is tired of the sadness that seems to have taken over their lives for the past five years. As the town of Avalon becomes overrun with the Amish Friendship Bread starter, a kernel of a story presents itself and activist and reporter Edie is quick to jump on it, even if it means pointing a finger at Julia as the instigator and dividing the small community that they live in.

When a neighboring town is devastated by high floods, Julia and her friends supply loaves of the bread to the residents and volunteers. As word spreads, so does help. Soon the entire town of Avalon is doing their part to aid their neighbors in need as they put their differences aside. Friendship Bread is a captivating, engaging novel about life and loss, friendship and community, and what endures even when the unthinkable happens. 
Friendship Bread is a heartfelt, poignant novel with treasured moment hidden within its pages.  The story is full of emotion and secrets that held me captive.  I felt as if I was a welcome spectator to the lives of the residence of Avalon through the good and bad times.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters of this novel.  The author does a beautiful job of telling their stories through her writing, each story told in their own point of view.  There are a wonderful assortment of colorful and satisfying characters in this story as the reader is introduced to most of the town.  They are the kind of characters you can imagine being friends with or spending time with.
I enjoyed the reality of this story.  It shares the intimate details of day to day life as it happens in its rawest form.  I was compelled to keep reading because I wanted to know more about the town and its residents.  This book was extremely easy to read and flowed beautifully.  It is the type of book that I prefer to know nothing about before reading it.  Knowing to much would have ruined the story for me.
In the spirit of the Amish Friendship Bread, I recommend this novel.  It is a novel of hope, comfort and endearment to its reader.  I highly suggest it for book clubs.  There is so much content that would be wonderful for a book club to discuss.  If you have a friend or a sister who enjoys reading grab them and read it together.  It's the spirit of the book!    The story is one that will remain with you as it refuses to be forgotten.


About the Author:
Darien Gee lives with her husband and three children in Hawaii. She is the bestselling author of three previous novels (Good Things, Sweet Life and Table Manners) written under the name Mia King. You can visit Darien Gee’s website at www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com. And check out the Friendship Bread Kitchen Facebook fan page.

Friendship Bread

Want to win a copy?  One copy is available to followers or subscribers of this blog with a US or Canada address who comment on this post telling me something you love or admire about a friend.  MAKE SURE YOU FILL OUT THE FORM AS WELL!!  Share the giveaway via Twitter or Facebook for an extra entry!  My twitter handle @cozyreadersnook


  1. I'm blessed to have several good friends. One of the many things I love about them, is that they all celebrate each other's differences. We love each other for not just what we have in common, but for what makes us unique.

  2. Friendship manifests itself in many forms. I have a very dear friend that I only actually see every 2 or 3 years, but the devotion never wavers. When we talk or email I feel the love as if we were face to face.

  3. Thanks for the lovely review of Darien's book. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I love that I have friends around the world, but I still feel connected to their lives -chats on the phone can't replace an email.

  5. I love sharing secrets with my friends. Its nice to have someone to talk to.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  6. I have a wonderful friend who always and I mean always greets me with a nice compliment like How are you you look fabulous (even if I look like crap and I know it) or here's the best Mother I know or something it's such a simple thing but it lightens my day everytime and I know she says it because she has a good heart. Thanks for this giveaway!!!!


  7. I am blessed to have a friend I've known since I was 2 years old.

    I have been wanting to read this book!

  8. I've been reading so many good reviews on this book. My bestie is Pam; she has gone so far as to put my children and I up in her home when things were very bad financially fo rme. She's the one I can call when I'm in a panic about something, and she can calm me and offer great advice. Right now, she is battling cancer, and I hope that she wins the fight.

  9. I have a best friend that I have known since we were teenagers.THough we live half way across our state from each other we still try to talk about once or twice a year!

    barbs562 {at} gmail {dot} com

  10. I've always been somewhat of a loner so my friends are few and far between. I'll admit I'm not the best at keeping in touch with my irl friends.

    I confide most in hubby and my younger brother.

  11. I've heard so many good things about this book, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    I had no friends when my late husband was ill, but have been fortunate to make REAL friends via an online grief group. Though I only talk with a couple of them via email and an occassional visit, one lives very near and we see each other all the time. Friendship can take on many different forms, but all three of these friends saved my life by pulling me through my grief in their own unique way.

  12. I love how my friends for always being there, and being optimistic and cheery when I needed them.


  13. good friends support you through thick and thin :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  14. I have a friend who I have had since kindergarten. She lives far away now but whenever we get together it is just like we are together everyday. I read this book and loved it also. Maybe I'll send my friend a copy!

  15. I love that my best friend is always there and she never is judgmental.

  16. I admire honesty...you know your true friends if they tell you the truth and you can tell them anything and they won't judge you.
    My BFF is always honest with me and I with her.

  17. I love laughing and sharing jokes with my husband, he is my best friend.

  18. I love my friend's loyalty and consistency! captainliss40(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. A friend...Their ability to understand u when u urself cant.... and never judging u for what u did what u would do or anything on that matter...

  20. I like that I can say ANYTHING...serious or silly to my friend.

    pamfreecycle at gmail dot com

  21. I love and respect honesty amongst friends. Trust is so important and it's hard to find people who really mean it when they ask you "how are you doing?" So that is what I cherish most in firends, honesty and genuineness. Thanks for the contest. Love the cover!

  22. I love loyalty in a friend

    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  23. One thing I like about my friends is that I always know they will be there for me, supporting me.

    Sophia L.
    sophiayunjin at gmail dot com

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Sounds like a sweet, cozy story! I admire honesty in my friends. Unfortunately, I don't find it often.

  26. I love the way my friends inspire me to be a better person and the way we can lean on each other when we need to. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  27. my friend Jonathan inspires me everyday, even moreso, since he donated a kidney to me!! he is much much younger than me, so for a young man in his early 20's to be that unselfish & so giving & generous, there is no one more who inspires me to be a better person than Jonathan!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!!


  28. Hi! I just wanted to stop by and thank you so much for taking the time to read and review FRIENDSHIP BREAD! I appreciate all your kind words and if you or any of your readers have questions about the book or the bread, please swing by and say hi!

    Darien Gee, author of FRIENDSHIP BREAD

  29. Newest GFC follower!! Off to read your reviews. I loved Friendship Bread.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I appreciate any comments or feedback! It is great to interact with other book lovers! If you read a book after seeing my review I would love to read your review! Come back and leave me a link ( : Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!