Format: ebook (ARC)
Published: May 1, 2012 (originally April 5, 2011)
Publisher: Random House Canada
My Rating: 4/5
Summary (from chapters.ca):
In the quiet community of Avalon, Illinois, Julia Evarts wonders how to move on with her life. Though her husband and five-year-old daughter give her an abundance of love, Julia still reels from a tragedy that has left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend.
Meanwhile, across town, widow Madeleine Davis takes great pleasure in serving up delectable treats and cozy comforts at her tea salon-now, if only she had some customers to enjoy them. And famed concert cellist and recent Avalon transplant Hannah de Brisay finds herself at a crossroads when her career and marriage come to abrupt ends.
The three strangers forge a friendship at Madeleine's Tea Shop, and soon their camaraderie extends to everyone in Avalon in the guise of a unique and wonderful gift. But even as Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.
Life and loss, friendship and community, food and family: Friendship Bread tells a spirited, remarkably moving tale about the triumph of hope.
**NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. However, no compensations were made and this review reflects my honest thoughts and feelings.**
When tragedy strikes close to home and leaves and entire town reeling you can do one of two things - you can sink or you can swim.
When I first saw this book in stores last year I knew without picking it up that I would want to read it. Why it took me so long is beyond me but I am so glad that I finally took the time to read it because my heart feels more full and my spirit stronger for having spent time with the women of Avalon.
Julia, a mother and wife, has been dealt a hand that no one should have to think about. When her 10-year old son passes away, her life changes in ways that I cannot even begin to imagine and yet, it is Julia who begins this wonderful journey of friendship and in the most unusual of ways.
Can you imagine opening your door in the morning and finding a random plate of bread with some crazy baggy in the middle that looks like a beating heart (only less red and more bubbly)? I think I would run away screaming! In a small town where you know everyone and have the utmost trust in your neighbours, I guess eating it only seems natural... big city girls, like myself, not so much. But if I learned anything from Friendship Bread, my desire to live in a small town has only been confirmed. Who knew that a small gesture from an unknown source would build a bridge back to life and pave to road to recovery?
Friendship Bread is told from the viewpoint of many residents and one of my favourite parts were the random chapters dedicated to those who happen across a random bag of 'starter' and how it just becomes part of their lives.
Overall, I found Friendship Bread became not only a book but an actual friend for me. I imagined myself starting a batch and passing it on to people and seeing if I could create my own little Avalon - I then quickly realized that I am more inclined to read than bake and quickly opted out of this idea. This truly is a book that would be perfect for book clubs, perfect for a gift to a special someone in your life and perfect for a rainy night in with a good cup of coffee.