Stones for Bread

Stones for Bread

Book - 2013
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Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft. But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl's recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour, a single father with strange culinary habits, seems determined to win Liesl's affection. When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.
Publisher: Nashville :, Thomas Nelson,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781401689018
Branch Call Number: F PAR NVD
Characteristics: x, 326 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 30, 2019

This book was truly brilliantly written. I was extremely impressed by the author's skill in telling an unconventional, but rich story. The story is spiritually deep with real character maturation, and elements of the story lines (flashback and present day) tie together extremely well.

What was incredibly impressive about this book was the way the love story seemed very realistic. The romantic lead isn't perfect or handsome, and our main character has some significant emotional wounds that impair her socially. But by the end of the book, you know they are meant to be together and want to see them make it work. There's also a plot twist I didn't see coming.

There was a very predictable pattern to each chapter: a flashback narrative, a history of bread snippet, a LONG bread recipe (think 3-4 pages), and a present day narrative. (I probably don't have the order 100% but all these elements were there). Unlike some flashback-heavy books, this one did not seem needless or independent of the main was interesting, and revealed more and more about why our main character avoids deep relationships. It also wove together with the present day very cleverly. However, since it delved into some VERY heavy topics in a realistic way, I didn't read every word of those sections so as to not become depressed myself.

I skimmed the bread recipes and history of bread sections. It almost seemed that the author had done a lot of research to write the book and wanted a chance to show it off. The history of bread was interesting, but often sad, and disrupted the story a little. The recipes were incredibly complex, multiple-day, specialty-ingredient sorts of instructions. As an editor, I would have recommended those sections be cut or added to the back of the book, or published in a different book altogether.

I also commend the author for seemingly accurately portraying a spiritually lukewarm, but genuinely saved believer. The story of her healing process/deepening faith seemed genuine and realistic. No "rules-based" religion here!

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