Friendship Bread

Darien Gee, Ballantine, $25 (363p) ISBN 978-0-345-52534-5
Baked goods conquer profound grief in Gee's by-the-numbers debut. The sorrow felt by Julia Evarts and her husband, Mark, over the death of their son, Josh, six years earlier has chipped away at the foundation of their marriage, but after Julia finds a starter batch of Amish friendship bread on her porch one day, the yeasty surprise helps patch up some spiritual wounds. She shares the recipe starter with a few people in her town, and pretty soon everyone is making it and finding their own simple narratives of bread-driven healing. But none have a harder path to the foregone conclusion than Julia and her sister, Livvy, who was with Josh when he died and has yet to be forgiven by Julia. Yes, the premise is hokey, but Gee's women characters are written with affection (much more so than the men in their lives, who are essentially decorative). Readers looking for a quick, easy fix of heartwarming optimism could do worse. And, of course, the recipe is included. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91442-2
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-345-52535-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91445-3
Open Ebook - 277 pages - 978-0-345-52536-9
Hardcover - 551 pages - 978-1-61173-114-9
Ebook - 575 pages - 978-1-74269-299-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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