Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pump Up Your Book blog tour: Friendship Bread

About the book:

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.

About the author:

Darien Gee is an author, wife and mother of three. She’s a Libra Monkey, a chocoholic and, of late, an Amish Friendship Bread addict. A former California resident, Darien served on the board of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and ZYZZYVA, an award-winning literary journal. She’s an alum of Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her next Avalon novel Memory Keeping will be published in 2012 by Ballantine Books.

She has also written three books under the pen name Mia King – Good Things, Sweet Life and Table Manners. Those books were also published in Germany and Norway. To learn more about my Mia King titles, visit the website

Just my opinion:

This book definitely has a spot on my favorite books of 2011. It really is an awesome read. In fact, I liked it better than I thought I would and I’m so glad I read it.

Friendship Bread is the story of a small city in Illinois. The cast of characters is so eclectic and varied. It really revolves around five or six main characters, but others make appearances throughout the story. By the time you’ve reached the final pages, you feel like a part of this unique group of people.

This is a story of friendship and how a simple act can lead to a special relationship between two or more people. It’s also a story of healing and finding a way to get back what you’ve lost. And it’s a story about being there for others and learning how to be there for yourself, as well.

I originally agreed to take part in this blog tour because, at the time, my husband was into making Amish friendship bread. Somewhere along the line, his enthusiasm faded and the bag of starter disappeared from our kitchen counter. By the end of the book, I understood why he was first attracted to the idea of baking the bread and why he abandoned it. It’s an amazing book and one that will have a special place on my bookshelf for a long time to come.

Some favorite passages from the book:

The three women sit there, in comfortable and uncomfortable silence, giving themselves a little time before eventually talking in low voices about matters of the heart that can never be forgotten.

Life is a bit like doing laundry – you have to separate the darks from the lights. One’s not necessarily better than the other – they’re just different. They have different needs, require different levels of care.

Despite the company of friendship we still have ourselves to reckon with at the end of the day.

Sometimes we push people away because we want them to come back to us. We want them to come and get us, to say they haven’t forgotten about us. We want them to show us how much they want and need us. We want them to prove they love us enough to fight for us.

The most basic elements of our life – our birth and our death – are out of our control. People spend a lifetime trying to control these things, but it’s impossible. Even if we think we’re calling the shots, we’re not.

There’s something appealing about a quiet story that has depth, that has the ability to reach out and connect people for a long time to come.

If you don’t get the basics right, none of the rest matters.

It’s a gift when the people who have known and loved us since childhood are a part of our lives.

To learn more about Friendship Bread, visit the website dedicated to this book. There you will find more than 100 recipes and learn the history of friendship bread.

You can find more information about this blog tour at the Pump Up Your Book website.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the lovely review of Friendship Bread. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I finished my copy last night. I could read it all over again. I hope your readers check it out.

brianajae said...

I'm adding this one to my list.

Suko said...

This book has all the right ingredients (pun intended). I will be adding it to my TBR list. Wonderful review, LuAnn.