Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stones for Bread {a LitFuse Review}

It is time for another "I couldn't put it down" book review from me.  This time, the book is Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish.  I really, seriously thought I could read a few chapters and set it down.  And I did succeed in reading two chapters and putting it down.

But then I picked it back up the next evening, started reading, and only set it down long enough to get a refill on my glass of water.

From the publisher:
A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

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 her 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.
My thoughts?  Well, it was a bit confusing to begin with, which kept me from being pulled in right from the first chapter.  There was something, though, that made me want to pick the book back up.  Partially, I think, it is that in a lot of ways I really felt like I could identify with Liesl.  She's not drop-dead gorgeous, she's most certainly an introvert, the guy who is interested in her is a good and solid blue-collar type of guy --- none of those are the usual recipe for success in women's fiction.

So it got my attention.

Then you have multiple storylines going, which was quite confusing at first, but fascinating by the end.

And -- Liesl is donating bread to local churches, and wow, oh wow, did I ever just love some of the descriptions of Liesl's feelings about doing that.  Here is one paragraph:
So I pack the bread in bags, like I will for any paying customer.  I don't send burnt loaves or stale loaves, or any kind of kitchen experiment I don't believe is quality enough to sell.  I will not give to the least of these anything I will not offer to my Lord, should he walk into Wild Rise one afternoon and ask for a little something to eat.
The story, of course, is so much more than that.  And it is one that is well worth reading.  The details about the history of bread are fascinating, and of course, there are recipes scattered throughout the entire story.

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.

#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

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