- Author Darien Gee
- Release Date April 5, 2011
- Publisher Ballentine Books
- ISBN/ASIN 9780345525369
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Jo
Gee is a new to me author only having read AN AVALON VALENTINE previously and I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the small town of Avalon. When the author asked if I’d like to read her other books set in Avalon I jumped at the chance. I now have THE AVALON LADIES SCRAPBOOKING SOCIETY and AN AVALON CHRISTMAS to read as well. At the back of this book was an excerpt from MEMORY KEEPING, which was retitled THE AVALON LADIES SCRAPBOOKING SOCIETY, and it whet my appetite for more.
FRIENDSHIP BREAD takes on a life of its own with the Amish Friendship Bread front and center whether family, friends and neighbors wanted the Ziploc bag filled with the fermenting starter or not. It was fun to see the character’s interactions and thoughts on both the bread and the Ziploc bags and how in the end it had such a powerful effect on the town. As we get to know the complex characters, a little at a time, as well as some of their neighbors I felt that I was there. Julia, Madeline and her Tea Salon and Hannah are at the core of the story, each one lost and hurting in their own way, until their newly found friendship binds them together. Julia is perilously close to losing her husband since she’s always pushing him away after the death of their son and her depression forms her these days. Will he hang in for not only their daughter Gracie but for her too or will someone new try to steal him away?
There was a lot of darkness to deal with in Julia’s story but unexpectedly finding friendships when she least expects it is heartwarming. Watching Mark and her sister, Livvy, who she’s estranged from, be so careful around her though was heartwrenchingand her daughter didn’t always know why her mommy was acting the way she was. There are family and friends, lots of stories to share, struggles, anger, tears, fear, sadness, hope, happiness, laughter, good food, lots of breads and recipes but ultimately love. There is nice closure especially with the epilogue and a happily ever after or two in the offing but enough loose ends to bring me back to Avalon again and again. I liked that the book comes full circle from the prologue to the epilogue. I look forward to reuniting with the characters that seem more like friends.