I found this a pleasant, if predictable, non-challenging book. It is a good read for when you want something that is certain of a happy resolution. It...moreI found this a pleasant, if predictable, non-challenging book. It is a good read for when you want something that is certain of a happy resolution. It fulfilled the need of the genre, a pleasant unchallenging read that assures the redemption of the characters who seek it and a happy ending for most.
There was some casual and abusive use of alcohol. I know a lot of people may object to casual social use of alcohol in a Christian book but there are many Christian denominations that do drink socially. The definition of Christian is not "one size fits all". Some Christians do drink socially, even at functions at church. There are characters you know have a history of sexual promiscuity but you never have to witness any of it. It was a slightly less "safe" Christian book since there are some references to alcohol, drugs, sex and sexual abuse. Nothing is explicit but the book does not exist in a completely sanitized world of denial about the some of the unfortunate realities in the world.
My difficulty with it is the editing. The book is set up in a chronological pattern. The story begins in August and ends the following August. We reach the section labeled "February" and find a section discussing plans for Thanksgiving and even mention decorating for Christmas. Who proof read this? I can't imagine how the writer turned the book over the editor with this sort of error and that the editor missed it as well. I can only assume the section was meant to have been in the section labeled "November" and ended up being moved for some reason associated with balancing scenes for each character. Perhaps they should have edited it to discuss the upcoming Easter dinner instead of Thanksgiving. Also, the scene seemed to suggest there was going to be a pivotal scene in which a new character in one of the plot lines would be introduced to the others in the book, a scene that would move the plot forward at Thanksgiving. We never saw it. It never happened. There never was an actual "holiday" scene in the book. I had the feeling the book had been written in a hodgepodge of scenes which were eventually, cut or glued and pasted together without bothering to make sure it all still made sense and flowed as it was meant to flow.
I found the writing style easy to read in short bursts, in a doctor's office, for picking up in a hotel room on a trip before falling into bed, for reading in the car rider pick up line at school. This was a "nothing special" book but was interesting enough to keep reading. The book is pleasant. I keep coming back to that word. It is pleasant and that is about the extent of it. Sometimes all you need at stressful times is for a book to be unchallenging and comforting with just enough plot to keep going, a literary Hallmark Channel offering.(less)
Since I received this book for Christmas last year I have rarely resorted to actual recipes in cookbooks. Instead I go to my pantry and/or freezer and...moreSince I received this book for Christmas last year I have rarely resorted to actual recipes in cookbooks. Instead I go to my pantry and/or freezer and find ingredients that go together or compliment each other. It would be the "cookbook" It is one of two cookbooks I would have to choose between if I was told I could only have one. (The other one is a very old out of print basic cookbook,seen over Meryl Streep's shoulder in the movie THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, that gives you the basics of standard American cooking and baking.) With THE FLAVOR BIBLE you can create your own recipes from what you have on hand without fear of combining ingredients that are incompatible. It even tells you the combinations of ingredients necessary in creating ethnically inspired dishes.(less)