Friendship Bread: Book summary and reviews of Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

Friendship Bread

A Novel

by Darien Gee

Friendship Bread
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

It's more than just a recipe - it's a way of life.

For fans of Kristin Hannah and Kate Jacobs, Darien Gee's deeply felt and utterly charming novel follows two estranged sisters, three newfound friends, and - ultimately - a whole town brought together by a simple loaf of Amish Friendship Bread.

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.

Book includes friendship bread recipe and baking instructions

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Yes, the premise is hokey, but Gee's women characters are written with affection... Readers looking for a quick, easy fix of heartwarming optimism could do worse." - Publishers Weekly

"This entertaining series debut by Gee... will appeal to fans of tearjerkers..." - Library Journal

"Deliciously entertaining! You'll root all the way as these characters stumble toward forgiveness, understanding, and ultimately, celebration. A perfect book club selection, Friendship Bread is a treat worth sharing with all the women in your life." - Kate Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club

"The wonderful characters in Friendship Bread face life-changing adversity of the sort that either brings us down or transforms us into better people.  Darien Gee has a writer's heart and a baker's sense of mixing it all just right. The result is a book you will read over and over." - Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning

"Friendship Bread is a poignant, utterly compelling read. Darien Gee has deftly created a small town so endearing, you won't want to leave. Friendship Bread is a novel you won't soon forget." - Patricia Wood, national bestselling author of Lottery

"Friendship Bread is a vivid, tender portrait of friends, a window into the intricacies of friendship itself. Darien Gee writes with great warmth and wisdom, with deep insight into her characters. She is a wonderful writer." - Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author of The Geometry of Sisters

"As comforting, warm and delicious as a slice of freshly-baked friendship bread." - Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Promises to Keep

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Reader Reviews

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Elaine B. (franklin, MA)

A Lesson in Friendship
"Friendship Bread" (the book and the cake) is nourishment for the soul. Sometimes as we grow older and busier and less patient we forget the healing power of friendship. This book shows us the many types and degrees of friendship that can make life worth living even in the worst of times. "Friendship Bread" subtly seduces you, I couldn't put it down! Darien Gee shows us the power of friendship and especially the power and healing in forgiveness.

Cheryl K. (Naples, FL)

Friendship Bread
Darien Gee's novel was one of the most uplifting books I have read. The characters from the small town of Avalon attach themselves to the reader in a comforting, honest way. I felt as if I were inside the minds and hearts of each one, experiencing pain, grief, love and ultimately friendship. I could "smell" the aroma from each loaf of "Friendship Bread" baked and cannot wait to start my own.

This book will appeal to young and old, and should be great for discussion at book clubs.

Lynn R. (Wautoma, WI)

Friendship Bread
I really enjoyed this book and every time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to pick it up again. The story covered the lives of several very different women and how they came together to become very good friends.

When there is a sudden loss of a child in a family, the grief can take on a life of its own. Everyone grieves differently and for different lengths of time. I felt this part of the story was quite real and told how sometimes you just don't know where to start rebuilding. Words were said and blame given (even if not deserved). That is very hard to take back even if you want to, it is hard to start a conversation and move beyond grief, you feel guilty moving on.

I also want to state that the bread is very good, especially the chocolate brownies.

Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)

Loved it!
I JUST finished this book and couldn't wait to let everyone know that I consider it one of the best books, about women & their relationships, I've ever read! Book clubs would get a lot of discussion with this one, and that's something we always look forward to having.

I would recommend Friendship Bread to women of all ages...and men who would like to understand them. ;o) My only disappointment was that it ended.

Dawn C. (Meridian, ID)

Friendship Bread
I'll take a fresh slice! Anyone who has ever been the recipient of friendship bread starter will appreciate this book. We meet many people in the town of Avalon, and each has a story to tell, some are sad, some are heartfelt, and some are funny, but all need to be told. Darien weaves the stories flawlessly and adds a touch of whimsy with the friendship bread!

Lisa Richardson

A Warm & Luscious Read
It's a book to cherish. More than just a story, it will make you take stock of what's important in life, and see how we can all make a difference by the small things we do in our lives. I laughed and cried, and then I got a bag of starter out of my freezer.

I found myself caring about each of the characters in the book, and they came across as real, like my neighbors and friends. I can't believe anyone would regret reading this book, and it will add to your appreciation of your life, good and bad. It also makes you want to get up and start baking!

...17 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Darien Gee has written three novels as Mia King, but this is her first novel writing in her own name. Visit her at FriendshipBreadKitchen.com

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