I had heard of Amish Friendship Bread in the past – I remember one of my co-workers talking about having received a bag of Amish Friendship Bread and the fact that you split the bag off into other bags after you bake your own and then you share it with other people. Having heard about the concept of Amish Friendship Bread, I was really interested in reading Darien Gee’s novel, Friendship Bread, to see how the concept of this bread could be incorporated into a novel.
Friendship Bread follows a number of interesting paths, each one tied to Friendship Bread and the people whose lives it touches. The story involves in small town (which I can totally relate to!) and a number of people living within it. There are a wide variety of characters – from Madeline, an older woman who has moved to Avalon to open to tea room, to Hannah, a former professional cellist who is starting over after her husband leaves her, to Julia and Livvy, a grieving mother (and her sister) who are torn apart by a family tragedy. Friendship Bread is an element that ties these characters, and many others, together as they find themselves making the bread, forging friendships and growing as both individuals and a community.
I was quickly drawn into this novel – having lived in a number of small towns during my life, I could relate to how quickly one thing (such as Amish Friendship Bread) can become the talk of a whole community! I also enjoyed the characters in the novel – Gee has a way of bringing them all to life and making the reader care about their relationships and what will happen to them. I also found the insert of events going on around town (all connected to the Amish Friendship Bread) to be both funny and endearing – I felt as if I was really reading about the events that were taking place in a small-town near me!
This book has effected me in two different ways – it has made me homesick for some of the small towns I lived in during my life and it has made me want to start making my own Amish Friendship Bread to share with my family and friends! I love the book Friendship Bread and I already have a list of people who want to read it! I would highly recommend Friendship Bread – I think it would make a great gift for any woman you know who loves a good story and it would also make a great book club selection because I think it appeals on a number of different levels!