Monday, December 9, 2013

Stones for Bread By Christa Parrish Book Review

17657648 // Stones for Bread //

By Christa Parrish

{Review By Bethany}

Title: Stones for Bread
Author: Christa Parrish
Number of Pages: 326
ISBN: 1401689019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Bethany's Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //

 "What do you do when the gift you thought was bread turns out to be stones?

Liesl McNamara’s Wild Rise is not only a popular bake house and café in Vermont, it’s an extension of herself. Liesl is an artisan bread maker, like her mother and grandmother before her. Even though she lost her mother to suicide when she was eleven, she keeps this maternal bond alive as she bakes.

Liesl prides herself on living an uncomplicated, unattached life. But that changes when Seamus walks through the door of Wild Rise, lugging the large bags of whole wheat flour from the local food co-op. He and his daughter Cecelia have recently moved to the country seeking simplicity. Despite her best effort, Liesl becomes attracted to this teddy bear of a man who laughs easily and eats strange sandwich concoctions—on her bread, much to her dismay.

Her simple life is further complicated when a popular cooking show features her bakery. The publicity increases her business and brings several offers from larger businesses, all of which she turns down. But it also brings a completely unexpected phone call, one from a woman claiming to be her half-sister.

Liesl’s sense of identity dissolves as everything about her relationship with her mother—and the bread that held them together—comes into question. Has she been given stones rather than bread? And how can she ever take these crumbs and make them whole again?"
// Bethany's Book Review //

Stones for Bread was the first book by Christa Parrish that I've read, so going into it, I wasn't sure what the writing style would be like, or if I'd like it. However  being that it was about a baker, I thought I'd enjoy reading it as I love to bake, though I must confess I bake much simpler recipes than main character, Liesl does in the book. But it did remind me that baking really is an art, which I'd never really actually thought about before, and it can be such a calming activity, as we see in the story.
Though Stone for Bread wasn't a favorite, I certainly did enjoy reading it and found it to be a very unique book, and unlike any other I've read - both in writing style and story line. Christa Parrish certainly has her own unique writing style, and it was the first time to read a book with such a emotional writing style and story line. It added a nice touch to the story and was very unique and interesting to be able to read-one I won't forget soon as the characters stay with me even after reading the last word of the story.
One thing I loved about this book was all the various artisan bread recipes that were included in the story, when Liesl would bake them. I thought that was really cool and that it would be so fun to bake the breads that Liesl did in the book.
While I did enjoy this book, there were a few tiny details that I found to be a bit of a downer for me. One is that in the story, two or three times a character would be about to say a "word" and the author would cut them off a couple letters before the word was completely spelled,  and while the words weren't completed, you have enough to get the idea of the word, and it was just something I'd have preferred to be left out. While the words weren't inappropriate by any means, and definitely moderate, I just prefer not to have them pop up in a story. Like I said, they weren't terribly bad words, just ones I don't want cluttering my mind with, however it was by no means a reason to put the book down.
Another downer for me was how the whole story is spent with the main character not knowing Christ or having a personal relationship with Christ. Sadly, while this book is considered a Christian novel, there wasn't much Christian influence, since the character doesn't become a Christian until the very end of the book. One way this was obvious to me was how big bread was to Liesl. When I started this book I had the idea that this book would involve a lot of bread, but I didn't expect it to be literally about bread the whole time. Bread is so big to Liesl and a foundation for the story, it's her heritage, family and life since she owns a bakery that fills her days. When she is upset or troubled she makes bread as a way of releasing stress, and I found it often would take the place that Christ should have filled, since she took bread to that level of importance in her life. I felt like often times she would release her stress or find comfort in making bread instead of in Christ, and it was an opportunity for her to strengthen her faith in Christ (as it was growing throughout the story bit by bit) that was missed since she went to bread instead.
Despite these two downers, I did enjoy this book and found it to be a great story on redemption as the main character goes through a lot of different things in the story that make her a stronger person in the end. The writing style was so personal and emotional that you get attached to the characters, and I loved being able to connect with the characters and share their pain. While this book wasn't a favorite, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone who loves to bake!
NOTE :: I received a free copy of this book for the purposes of reading it and writing a review on my blog. I was not paid in any way to write this review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are honest and unbiased.

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