Friendship Bread
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Friendship Bread

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,379 ratings  ·  961 reviews
An anonymous gift sends a woman on a journey she never could have anticipated.

One afternoon, Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Sarah
I'm a fan of this type of novel: group of people are brought together by _______ (usually knitting or food in the books I've read), learn life lessons, etc., so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this one. It had more substance to it than some others, plus the added component of people trying to foist of bags of Amish Friendship Bread starter on unsuspecting neighbors and friends.

*I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
OctoberWoman
It’s not often that a book makes my eyes tear up, but this book managed to do so. I’d never heard of Darien Gee or Amish Friendship Bread before. For the first 50 pages or so, I just kind of plodded along, enjoying it well enough but not finding it particularly outstanding. But somewhere along the way I got so sucked in that I didn't want to put the book down to go to sleep.

There are a lot of characters, and keeping up with all of them may be part of why it took me a bit to really get my bearin...more
Kathryn
One afternoon, Julia Evarts and small daughter, Gracie, come home to find a gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. With the bread is a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread, and a request to share it with others.

Julia decides to share the bread starter with two newcomers to town and that begins a friendship that changes lives, theirs and others. This is a wonderful story about friendship, life and loss. More importantl...more
Melissa
***Please note: This book was received as a free ARC copy. Obtained through the Goodreads First Reads program***

This book was entirely charming and definitely one of those feel good types of books. While its probably not a classic or masterpiece, in its own way its just as good as any of those types of books. Maybe I'm biased because I love food and heartwarming stories, but I think this book rates five stars easily. For those not familiar with Friendship Bread, it is a fermented starter that is...more
Librarybarbie
I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway and I am so happy I did. I loved it!

Friendship Bread was an absolute delight to read. Having grown up in a small town, the atmosphere captured on the page was so realistic. From the descriptions of the attitudes towards those new to the town complete to the feelings of never wanting to leave because you are a part of something bigger.

The characters were witty and so well created. There were times you could see there the plot was heading and...more
Charity
Healing comes from an unexpected gift: friendship bread. The story follows the lives of five women, all at different painful areas of life and all of them struggling alone from the weight of the pain they are going through.

One day, Julia comes home to find a plate with a loaf of bread, and a recipe for friendship bread. Her five-year-old daughter Gracie pleads for her to make the recipe because she wanted her daddy to try some of it. And in 10 days, Julia is left with bags of starter and sends...more
Laurie Carlson
I first knew about Amish Friendship Bread back in the late 80's, or early 90's. I was a few years out of High School and really into the Amish. My Mother brought home a starter bag of this bread in the form of dough. We left it on the counter and let it ferment, and baked it on the 10 day mark. It was SO delicious! Then, that was it. I didn't hear about it again until lately, since this book came out!
I first saw this book on an online Book Blog. I made the Starter Recipe from there. I went back...more
LORI CASWELL
Julia is living as a mere shell of herself just going through the motions doing the absolute minimum with her life as she tries to deal with the grief of losing her son. She blames her sister for his death so they have become estranged. Her husband loves her with all his heart but while dealing with his own grief their marriage seems to be falling apart right before their eyes.

Then one day as Julia arrives home with her daughter they find a plate on their porch with a sample of a wonderful bread...more
Tenna
I was SO glad to recieve this book as part of first reads give away. I could not put it down...to the point where I was sneaking reads inbetween client appointments.

I've mentioned it before but I think a book's success is determined by it's character development. If that is any indication, Friendship Bread should quickly become a best seller. The development was so well done that the reader quickly becomes part of the book and invested in the lives of these characters.

I also loved the unique w...more
WifeMomKnitter
From the Goodreads.com synopsis:

"One afternoon, Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and a request to share it with others.
Still reeling from a personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend, Julia remains at a loss as...more
Jayne
What a great book! Ms. Gee does a wonderful job presenting the lives of the people of Avalon and the challenges each person faces. I love how the friendship bread is almost like a 10 step therapy process as it helps and heals.

I received this book from Random House in anticipation of it's April release. My full review as seen on MoanaSaves.com is copied below.

(http://www.moanasaves.com/2011/03/fri...)
Have you heard of (or tasted) Amish Friendship Bread? The cinnamon bread/cake is made from a sou...more
Brandy
I won this book through first reads and I am delighted that I get to give it a positive review!

My rating would probably be closer to 3.5 stars than 4 but the message of the story pushed me to 4 since I couldn't choose 3.5.

As I was reading this book and even shortly after I was slightly disappointed that this book didn't give me more. I just wanted it to be deeper. Half way through I was thinking "where is the meat"?

Now that it has been a couple days since I have read it I realized it had everyth...more
thewanderingjew
In the first few pages, the mood is set. The book appears to be one that will be pleasant to read. It is about love, friendship, relationships and all the myriad things that can happen to someone in their lives, both good and bad. The author speaks in a charming, simple tone and makes you feel right at home, just like the friendship bread which seems to be at the core of the story, the theme that ties it all together.

It is an easy book to read, perhaps more like a beach read. Although it seems l...more
Sarah Ford
I read this book quickly. It was a cozy story, and one that drew me in quickly and flowed easily. If you are looking for an easy girlie book, in the Sophie Kinsella/Jill Mansell (except American) tradition, one that goes well with a rainy day curled up on the couch, then FRIENDSHIP BREAD should fit the bill nicely. There is a sad premise to the story--a family that has been struggling with the loss of child--which I want to put out there in case this would not be a good time to immerse yourself...more
Tracy Murray
I was fortunate enough to have this book sent to me as an Advance Readers Edition. The problem with receiving a book this way is you don't choose the book. I have to be honest I assumed it wouldn't be very good, otherwise why would they send it to me for free? I am happy to say I was wrong.

This story was so much more than I expected. I expected a light piece of sweetness, instead it had substance. I am a fast and frequently impatient reader and the first few chapters had me a little nervous. I...more
Stacy
I can't really say I didn't like it because I never finished it. There are too many GOOD books out there so I decided not to sit through this mediocre one. (I'm possibly being unfair since I recently read some really good stories just before trying this out.) For me, a good book grabs you right from the start and never lets you go until you reach that last page. When you have to get up and do something else, you find yourself still thinking about what's going on, and you do whatever it takes to...more
Tami
Just received notice I have won! Can't wait to receive.
Received this yesterday and finished my last book last night, so plan to start this today. I am so excited! 2/15/11

Another book I wish we could give half stars. I really enjoyed it, but I am not sure I feel it is such a great book that it should get 5, so 4 1/2. I loved how the story went along, I loved the characters, except Julia, and now I want(almost) to create a start. I loved the portrayal of a small time town with such a diverse popu...more
Valissa
I loved this book! Such a sweet story about a small town, a tragic event and a simple act of baking that brings a town together. I'd give it 4 stars, but I did tire a bit of the non-stop talk about the friendship bread. I thought there were a few too many stories about people receiving the starter and baking the bread. They were scattered throughout the book and interrupted the main storyline too much. I wanted to get back to the characters themselves and see how their lives would mend by the un...more
Cheryl C.
Five years ago, in the little town of Avalon, Illinois, Julie Evarts's world changed forever. Her son Josh died in a tragic accident and not even the birth of her daughter Gracie could help bring her out of the grief and despair that have filled her life since that day. Her husband Mark doesn't know how long he can handle the ever-growing distance between them. A starter bag and a set of instructions for making Amish Friendship Bread mysteriously arrives at their front door. Could this be the ke...more
Susan
In the small town of Avalon, Ill, several women meet because of a bag of starter for Amish Friendship Bread, which was left on the doorstep of one of them. As the story progresses, the lives of the women intermingle, bringing about unexpected friendships and resolutions of long standing issues. The characters are multi-dimensional people that you can relate to. The problems they face, the hurts and disappointments, and the joys, ring true. You connect with these folks. You want to know them, hav...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Friendship Bread is a charming story. The simple anonymous gift of Amish Friendship Bread starter unexpectedly unites three women, Julia, Hannah and Madeline together in friendship, and a community in time of crisis. Written with warmth and heart it is a celebration of friendship, family and community.

While there are serious issues explored in Friendship Bread, namely grief, divorce and family estrangement, the focus is on dealing with, rather than dwelling on, the pain. Julia has isolated hers...more
Kathryn
This book is more of a 3.5 than a 3. Mia King and Darien Gee are the same author and I have thoroughly enjoyed the books by Mia King. She and I have even e-mailed back and forth after reading her first book Good Things. This current book was very entertaining and I wanted to keep reading, but there were things that confused me. The prologue I am still not sure why it was there. Some of the more obscure characters she introduced seemed to only have one reason for being there and did not weave the...more
Tamara
I won Friendship Bread on Good Reads and am so glad that I did. Friendship Bread by Darien Gee is a wonderful read. The book centers around Friendship Bread and how it affects the small Chicago suburb of Avalon. Throughout the book you will also learn some what seem to be very delicious recipie's with Friendship Bread. The story begins with Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter Gracie. They arrive home one day and find a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you...more
Melodie
The small town of Avalon,Illinois has a phenomenon taking place.Amish Friendship Bread is making the rounds. To the delight of some and the exasperation of others,the delicious bread and it's gray, dubious looking and smelly starter can be found in most of the resident's homes. How did it come to be such a "presence" in this small town? This is it's story.
Of course bread can't talk. The residents of the town provide the background and story line.And the story is quite the tale. The bread is th...more
McGuffy Morris
Friendship Bread is a novel of loss, the connection of friendship and the healing power of sharing.

The characters are uniquely different, yet so typically human. One cannot help but identify with them and their lives, struggles and all. Three women in various stages of life, with its sorrows, come together over tea and Amish Friendship Bread. As their stories unfold, bonds are formed and friendship deepens.

The book begins with Julia finding a loaf of bread on her porch one day. It is left there...more
Tonya
Couldn't have asked for a better book! Maybe more recipes or more book... but like a bag passed day 10 of friendship bread, this book exploded with friendship and love. We have 5 main women that we visit throughout the book; I won't go into all the details. You will just HAVE to pick the book up and read for yourself. It is all woven together so beautifully that I was left speechless at the end, couldn't have asked for anything better. Now that is how it is supposed to be done!

What brings it all...more
Jenni
Feb 19, 2011 Jenni rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: All my friends and family
I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway and I am so happy I won. I absolutely loved the book! The author creates such real and heartfelt characters who you can't help but love. The story follows the trail of Amish Friendship Bread starter as it weaves through the town of Avalon and slowly changes the lives of those who live there. The bread brings together three unexpected women who soon become fast friends and help each other through their current struggles. Each woman is dealing...more
Karen Fenton
This was a Goodreads win for me. I enjoyed reading Friendship Bread. It was an interesting story of a community of the small town of Avalon. The community comes together making and sharing the friendship breads, of many different kinds. It brought people together that otherwise would not have known each other, and created long term friendships for all. The story line of Julia losing a son added to the heartfelt story. The friendship bread brought Julia and her sister Livvy back together after ye...more
Carol
Please write more, Darien Gee!, December 11, 2012
By C. Wong "Book worm" (Allen, Texas United States)

This review is from: Friendship Bread: A Novel (Paperback)
'Friendship Bread' by Darien Gee is the kind of book that you would love to read while under a lot of stress or feeling a little under the weather. Reading this book is like cuddling up in a soft, warm blanket. I loved it!

The only reason why it isn't five stars for me was that there were too many characters. I was able to keep track of...more
Stacie
I received an ARC of FRIENDSHIP BREAD from Librarything and couldn't wait to read it. Several times over the course of my adult life, I have made friendship bread...most recently within the last few months. So this story really intrigued me.

This novel involves marriage, as well as divorce, grief and loss, friendships, and families.

At first it was a little tough to keep the characters straight. There are 5 main characters as well as several secondary characters plus others who live in the commun...more
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Darien Gee lives with her husband and three children in Hawaii. She is the author of Friendship Bread: A Novel, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and An Avalon Christmas.
More about Darien Gee...
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society An Avalon Christmas Writing the Hawaii Memoir: Advice and Exercises to Help You Tell Your Story

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“She's come to realize that life is a bit like doing laundry--you have to separate the darks from the lights. One's not necessarily better than the other--they're just different. They have different needs, require different levels of care. She knows plenty of customers who don't give it much thought and throw all their laundry in together, and maybe that's the chaotic part of life that just happens, that no matter how hard you try, you can't always keep things separate. A red sock gets mixed in with a load of whites, or a delicate black top gets washed in hot water by accident. These things happen. All you can do is learn from it and move on. Tell your husband to enjoy his pink underwear, give your shrunken top to your little sister or niece. But it doesn't mean that you stop sorting your laundry. You keep sorting--lights from darks, darks from lights--and hope for the best.” 14 likes
“[She] looks gorgeous, wearing the look of a mother whose kids are finally starting to grow up. She can take care of herself now, she can get her hair done and get a decent night's sleep.” 3 likes
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