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 take: Stones for Bread is, simply put, beautiful. It has a very literary feel to it, and that makes the reading a bit slower, but it's so, so good. Written in first person, it tells the story of Liesl's present and past (the latter is revealed in non-linear fashion), as well as the history of bread. Several recipes are interspersed throughout the novel, and I'd love to try them out ... if I ever feel particularly ambitious!
The characters in Stones for Bread struck me as people I could really meet. Liesl is not a perfect character—far from it—but she grows tremendously throughout the novel while still maintaining some of her imperfections. She's realistic. I especially loved her relationships with Seamus (slightly romantic) and Jude (almost motherly).
In the end, Parrish doesn't wrap everything up in a neat little bow. Yes, we are left with the impression that Liesl's life will be good, but some things are left to the imagination. And that's the perfect way to end.
My rating: 5 stars
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About the giveaway: Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Bread, with a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
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 http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).
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.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."