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Heirloom #3

The Recipe Box

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Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha "Sam" Mullins felt trapped on her family's orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star's New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family's orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life--including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family's history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published March 20, 2018

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About the author

Viola Shipman

21 books2,371 followers

Dear Reader:

Welcome! I am the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of fifteen books that have been translated into nearly 25 languages. I write fiction under the pen name, Viola Shipman, as a tribute to my working poor Ozarks grandma, whose memory and love inspire my novels and inspired me to become a writer. My novels are a tribute to family and our elders and meant to inspire hope. My grandma used to say, "Life is as short as one blink of God's eye, but we too often forget what matters most in that blink." As a result, my novels remind readers of what matters most in life: Each other.
My new summer novel, FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN (yes, like the Miranda Lambert song!), publishes June 13 and is available for preorder now. I'm honored that it’s being compared to FRIED GREEN TOMATOES and that Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Virgin River, is raving about it. It is a beautiful story about finding the magic that lives within each of us, and I know it will touch your heart.
Growing up in the Ozarks, my grandmas were my best friends. I never considered them to be “old,” I thought of them in the same way I did my friends from school. We played board games, we read books, we baked together, we floated in inner tubes down the creek holding hands, we danced to Lawrence Welk, we laughed watching Happy Days.
To this day, I’ve always had friends who were much older than me. In fact, some of my dearest friends today are in their 80s. I also have friends much younger than me and am a godparent to teenagers. Like all good friends, we not only support each other through the good and bad, but we also push each other to dream big and be our best selves. We lend each other individual strengths to make the other whole and stronger. We fill in those missing gaps in our souls. We all keep each other young.

This novel celebrates intergenerational friendships, and why it’s important in life – and in society – to look at people not simply at face value but within their hearts. This book celebrates the fact that there is no age limit on friendship, new adventures, taking risks and becoming the person you always dreamed of being.

This book is also a celebration of women, especially women who have to overcome incredible obstacles and hardships – and often bad men – in their lives to protect their families and come into their own. Much like my grandmas, the women in this novel use ingenuity, hard work, faith, a love of the land and a love for one another to soldier on with grace, determination, resilience and open hearts.

This novel, as all my novels do, celebrates the beauty and wonder of Michigan and its bounty along with loads of lore, such as the famed Fata Morgana, illusions that appear over Lake Michigan (are they real or not?). FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN place in the storybook (and very real) small town of Good Hart, Michigan, along the storybook (and very real) Tunnel of Trees. This is a breathtaking stretch of road in which the trees grow so dense they canopy the road for miles, choking out the sunlight and offering stunning views at every twist and turn.

I also used the very real, very quaint and very historic Good Hart General Store as the foundation to create The Very Cherry General Store. There is no place more I love to visit in the summer or fall than this historic general store (look it up!).

If you are from Michigan, you begin to understand – in a very short time and especially in summer – that cherries are life. From a stop at a roadside stand to the very real Cherry Festival in Traverse City every year, this fruit is the cherry on top of Michigan. I love all things cherry, and it was a joy to bring them to life – history, recipes, lore – in this novel.
This novel started long ago on a summer vacation day in northern Michigan: I went to Cherry Republic, gorged on all things chocolate and cherry, and then – after a glass of wine – tried

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,119 reviews
Profile Image for Julie .
4,030 reviews58.9k followers
June 10, 2018
The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a 2018 Thomas Dunne Books publication.

Sweet, tender and heartwarming-

This book just has that summertime feel to it. Sam Mullins always had an urge to break free from her family’s traditions. She wanted to fly far away from Michigan and the orchard and pie shop her parents and grandparents owned and operate. She finally escapes to New York, determined to be a premier baking chef. But, just as she lands a premium job opportunity, she quits and heads home to regroup. Her family is bewildered by her sudden appearance and she tries to keep the truth from them. Each day Sam struggles and fights with all her might against the urge to stay and continue her family’s legacy. Will she discover her real passion has been right under her nose all along or will she return to the rat race, never truly settling down long enough to achieve her goals?

"Someone once told me on my thirteenth birthday that a recipe box is the story of a family's life, of who we are, where we came from, how we got here, and where we are now"

I will warn those who are dedicated and monogamous to all things dark and twisty, or to those who can only take heartwarming stories in small doses, that this book is beyond sugary sweet. In fact, I may need a dentist to check for cavities after reading this book and drooling over all those recipes for cookies, pastries, and pies!!

Sam is a familiar type of character, one that sees things in either black or white, and carries around a hefty amount of snobbery, thinking she is just too good of a chef to lower herself to baking homemade recipes from an old recipe box passed down through the generations. She’s even a pretty big snob when it comes to romance, as well. But, her potential love interest may not have been college educated, but he is pretty darned savvy and is quite the visionary- and very, very romantic! Naturally, Sam gets put in her place a time or two, and learns many valuable lessons about life along the way- including the secret to having success and happiness all at once.

"Expectations are just preconceived resentments. You set yourself up to fail even when you don't do anything wrong"

This is just the type of book I am drawn to during the long days of summer, when the sun shines bright and relaxing days at the beach or at poolside replace strict schedules, pressure and stress. These feel good stories are so regenerative at times. I don’t want to over indulge with too many sweets, but adding a rich dessert into your diet once in a while balances things out, and often lifts and refreshes my spirit. This is a wonderful story, very light and gentle, warm and fuzzy, and sweetly sentimental.

4 stars
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
May 8, 2018
4.5 Delicious Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

This was such a charming read... filled with love, family, and food... each chapter starts off with a recipe... a recipe that sounds absolutely delicious... that is why my mom is getting a copy of this book for Mother’s Day, she needs to try out these recipes... she is a stellar Baker (just in case she’s reading this I want to butter her up)

Sam grew up in northern Michigan on her family‘s orchard, always longing for the big city.... there are so many books with this theme... and as somebody who grew up in the “big city“ I think it would be quite lovely to live in one of these charming places I so often read about... I guess the grass is always greener and all that.... so Sam realizes her dream and gets a job as a chef in NYC... but when it turns out her boss is a fraud, she returns home, feeling like a failure.... but will she finally see the magic in the family orchard?

Sam was a lovely character and she was surrounded by her mother and grandmother, both very strong and delightful women.... and I have to say Grandma Willow was my absolute favorite.... she just had so much heart and spirit, a grandma everyone would want.... I just loved the interaction between these women and the other family members, you could just feel the love between all of them.... I think that is what I found so enjoyable about this book, there was just so much love... Love for family... love for their orchard... love for food... and there was even some romance in this book... and I have to say Angelo was pretty delicious as well...

Something I want to mention that I found terribly interesting... is that this book was written by a man.... using the pen name of Viola Shipman... I would have never guessed in a million years, major props to you for that... always impressed when an author writes from the opposite sexes point of view and does it well as in this case....

Absolutely recommend to people who enjoy a lovely read filled with fun, food, and family...

*** thank you so much to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this lovely book, and shame on me for taking so darn long to get to it ***
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,128 reviews30.3k followers
March 11, 2018
4 stars to The Recipe Box, a tale of love for family and the food that connects it! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Confession: I’ve bought all of Viola Shipman’s books because I cannot resist the covers! I was thrilled to read an early copy of the author’s latest book. Viola Shipman is actually a pen name for a male author who chose to write under his beloved grandmother’s name as a tribute to her. You can feel the author’s devotion to his grandmother, and his entire family, in these words, even though this is fiction and not intended to be any type of memoir as far as I know.

Another lovely aspect of this book was the coastal Michigan setting. How quaint, cozy, and gorgeous. At the heart of this story is Sam, an aspiring fancy NYC sous chef, who has to move back home to Michigan as a “failure.” Her family owns an orchard and pie shop. Sam has some scars, and it’s through cooking alongside the women in her family that she begins to heal. I loved that each chapter featured a recipe from the family’s recipe box.

Overall, a pleasurable read about women healing each other through their love of food. And because I can’t resist the pun, it’s the perfect “palate cleanser��� between heavier reads.

Thank you to Viola Shipman, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley, for the complimentary copy.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,055 reviews1,376 followers
March 20, 2018
A recipe box for her thirteenth birthday? Is that what Sam really wanted?

Probably not, but it made her mother and grandmother happy so Sam accepted it and made her first pie.

THE RECIPE BOX was a gift no thirteen-year-old wanted, but it was a gift that kept on giving throughout Sam's life.

We follow Sam as she leaves her loving Michigan home and goes to New York to attend culinary school. She was a hit in New York, but her boss was a fake. To her family’s delight Sam decided to come back home.

Sam comes back to the love and warmth of her family and their bakery and orchards. Was she really ready for this? Did she make the right decision by coming back home?

All of the characters were lovable, but Grandma Willo was my favorite as was the story from her youth and her life.

Grandma was simply someone you would love to have as your grandmother because of her positive attitude and attention to making sure her family was happy in everything they chose.

THE RECIPE BOX is a “sweet,” loving read that makes you want to go into the kitchen and be with grandma making the pies and other delicious desserts.

Each chapter was titled with a recipe and inside each chapter we get to join in the family fun and view the ingredients and directions for the yummy food the family makes.

THE RECIPE BOX is for anyone who loves to bake with family, who loves recipes, who loves family history, and who enjoys being in a beautiful setting.

You most likely will shed a few tears not because of sadness, but because of the warmth and love that oozes from the characters and from things they say.

THE RECIPE BOX is a book that is an uplifting, make-sure-you-make-the-right decisions in your life by following your instincts and embracing change.

THE RECIPE BOX was definitely written WITH love and for those the author loves. 5/5

I received an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Sara.
65 reviews35 followers
March 24, 2019
A really nice story about love, family bond, traditions and strong women. And the book contains some delicious recipes!
Profile Image for Bkwmlee.
385 reviews254 followers
April 9, 2018
This is the second book I’ve read by Viola Shipman and so far, this is definitely my favorite out of the two. Last year, I had the opportunity to read this author’s second novel The Hope Chest and while it was an enjoyable read for me, it didn’t capture my heart like this third book The Recipe Box did. At the heart of this book was a wonderful story about family, love, relationships, identity, and one of my favorite topics : FOOD -- not just any food though – pies, cakes, tarts, cookies, and all manner of delicious baked goods! The story centers around Sam, a young sous-chef for a fancy bakery in New York who ends up quitting her job and returns home to Michigan, where her family owns an orchard and pie shop. Having grown up on the orchard surrounded by a loving family as well as the two women who inspired her love of baking – her mother Deana and her grandmother Willo – Sam returns to her childhood home to “lick her wounds,” sort out the mess she made of her life, and hopefully gain some clarity on the next steps for her future. Sam is welcomed back with open arms and quickly falls back in step with working at the orchard alongside the women in her life who had always meant so much to her – together, as they work through the recipes in the family’s recipe box, Sam not only develops a deeper understanding of her family’s treasured history and legacy, she also embarks on a journey of self-discovery that reignites her passion for baking as well as opens her heart to love.

I enjoyed this gem of a story that was filled with characters I adored from the start! I love stories about strong, smart, independent-minded women and this story had plenty of them – from Sam to Deana to Willo, also the generations that came before them with Madge and Alice, even though not mentioned as much but yet still so important to the story, I loved all these women! With well-written and descriptive prose, the story was incredibly atmospheric, to the point that I felt as though I was transported to the Mullins family orchard right from the very first page. In fact, I would say that the setting of the orchard (and pie pantry) became actual “characters” for me, coming vividly alive as the story unfolded and we learned more and more about Sam and her family with each chapter. I felt that the story itself was lovely and heartwarming, though yes it was a bit predictable and perhaps a little too saccharine and sweet, but that’s fine because it was the perfect escape for me after a series of heavier reads and also me dealing with a few rough patches in my own life. From the moment I started reading, I was expecting a light-hearted, feel good story with a plot that wasn’t too complicated and also characters I could possibly relate to – I ended up getting that and much, much more! Included at the end of each chapter was the recipe – ingredients and step-by-step instructions – for making each of the desserts featured in the story, which was a lovely surprise and an aspect of this book that I loved! In addition, I also enjoyed reading about the origin of each recipe as well as explanation of the real-life significance behind each dessert in the author’s note at the end of the book. Even though I most likely won’t attempt to make these desserts myself due to the fact that I’m a lousy cook and an even worse baker, I am also blessed to have wonderful women in my family who are fantastic when it comes to turning food into delectable creations so I know for sure they will enjoy trying these recipes out!

I recently found out that Viola Shipman is actually the pen name for Wade Rouse, a male author who writes under his grandmother’s name to honor her. Just like with his two previous novels The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest , this book The Recipe Box was also inspired by one of his grandmother’s heirlooms that was passed down to him. As he writes in his author’s note, this book “is a tribute to our elders, especially the women in our lives whose voices were often overlooked in their lifetimes.” What a wonderful way to honor his grandmother and also remind us as readers to treasure the elders in our lives and continue to pass along their love, lessons, family stories, and heirlooms to those we love as well! Wonderful book and definitely a highly recommended read!

Received ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,098 reviews
February 18, 2018
Sweet as pie! This is my first book by Viola Shipman and I enjoyed her writing style and her story of love and family and tradition. Reading this brought back so many memories growing up with Mom baking and cooking and friends and family coming over to enjoy it. She still cooks on Sundays for family and almost always has a wonderful homemade cake or pie.

This is the story of Sam Mullins who is at a crossroads in life where she needs to make a choice - stay in New York as a pastry chef or go home to Michigan and work at the family orchard and pie shop. When she quits her job working for a narcissistic tv baker, Sam goes home to Michigan for a visit with her parents and grandmother. The story alternates between present day and stories of the past and how the family orchard began and grew into what it is now. Each chapter contains a special recipe from the recipe box.

There is a lot of good advice in these pages. I love how the story showed the great bonds between great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and daughter throughout. Four stars for this one!

Many thanks to Viola Shipman and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,653 reviews97 followers
November 11, 2017
I enjoyed Viola Shipman's first two books and knew that I was in for a treat when I won a copy of The Recipe Box at goodreads. I wasn't disappointed - this was a wonderful book about family and love and relationships between mothers and daughters.

Sam Mullins felt like there was too much to explore in the world and didn't want to stay at her family's orchard and pie shop in Michigan. She went to NY, to go to culinary school and got a job at a famous bakery that was often filmed for Good Morning America. She finally had her fill of the pretentious baker who ran the bakery and quit to go home to Michigan to see if she could figure out what she wanted to do with her life. Sam felt like a failure when she got home but as she works along with her family - especially her grandmother, she begins to see what is important in life but is unsure if she will be able follow her dream.

Along with being a book about love between the generations of a family the author provides recipes at the end of each section. If you weren't hungry when you started the book, you will be as soon as you start reading these recipes. The family constantly bakes for each other and the deserts that they make are so well written that you can almost taste the apple turnovers and apple crisp. One other thing that I really enjoyed is that this book is a love letter to my native state of Michigan. I have always felt that the Michigan shoreline along Lake Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the world and this book describes it so well that I feel like I've been on a mini-vacation.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,990 reviews194 followers
May 23, 2018
Excellent narration
Recipes excellent
Sweet, heartwarming this book brought back so many fond memories of my youth in upper Michigan. This is a book with strong family ties, great relationships, honesty and courage, not game playing. I felt good, peaceful and happy while reading it. A fabulous summer feel good read.
I loved this tale of upper an Upper Michigan woman/pastry chef and the orchard her family owns. She was raised on her family's orchard, a multi generation owned business. She wants to make her own mark on the world so she leaves and goes to NY to work under a famous pastry chef. Things happen, life changes, and she finds herself heading home for some thinking and her grandmother's 75th birthday celebration. Once there she is drawn into the power of family and food, and re-centers her life and her heart.
Pie, pie, pie, oh the pies in this book ! There are recipes, good ones I've tried three so far. The only downfall to the audio version is that I had to write them down while play pause/play pause it took some time. I ordered the hard copy so I'll have them soon.
Profile Image for Connie G.
1,692 reviews452 followers
December 6, 2020
"The smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples baking in the oven, the taste of a homemade crust or streusel topping . . . those trigger memories of your mom and grandma baking in the kitchen, of the holidays, of summers at a beloved cabin. They remind us of a time when we were safe, warm, and loved."

Sam Mullins spent her childhood living in northern Michigan where her family owned an orchard and pie shop. The business had been in the family for generations, and recipes were passed down to the daughters on their thirteenth birthdays. After training as a pastry chef and working in New York City, Sam was at a crossroads. Should she return to her roots and the family business?

The recipes for apple and berry desserts that were sprinkled throughout the story sounded delicious. Vivid descriptions of Michigan brought back childhood memories of visiting with relatives who had a cottage close to beautiful Lake Michigan. While the ideas of family love and traditions are heartwarming, the story itself was overly sweet and sugary. Readers who love baking or watching Hallmark movies would especially enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,241 reviews246 followers
March 24, 2018
What’s better than a great book about secret family recipes, love, family traditions ... a book with all that AND RECIPES . And these recipes look really, really great that I’ve decided to copy each one and hopefully try them out. I really enjoyed this book - the love this family has for each other is wonderful!!! I loved this book from the very first page to the last. This is my 3rd book by Viola Shipman and I love this one as much as the other 2. I’ve read - The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest. Highly recommend all of 3 of these books! And according to the inside of the back of the book, Viola Shipman is the pen name for Wade Rouse. Who would ever know these books were written by a man? Not me.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,274 reviews23 followers
March 18, 2018
Sam gets fired from her prestigious-on-paper pastry chef job in New York City and returns home to northern Michigan with her tail between her legs. She is struggling with striking the balance between what she thinks she should be doing and what actually makes her happy. Not unlike many self discovery novels, Sam is her own worst enemy when it comes to both romantic relationships and her career.
Sam needs to look no further for answers than her own family. Which is where this all goes wrong for me. Metaphors hang heavy with folksy wisdom and are constantly referenced and acknowledged by the seemingly flaw free characters, the magical grandma in particular. The homespun and cozy care Sam receives feels like being hit over the head with a pie plate over and over again. You will not be surprised that shared family history is just the balm Sam needs. This is a world of syrupy sweet goodness, an unrelenting tone that feels overwhelming false.
On the positive front, and why I actually finished this is the lovingly described setting of Suttons Bay in northern Michigan. The atmosphere was a wee bit over done, but it feels like a love letter to Pure Michigan.
This would be a good read for fans of gentle reads like Jan Karon or Richard Paul Evans.
Profile Image for Andrea.
713 reviews107 followers
May 24, 2018
It would be nearly impossible for me to dislike this book.
Apple orchard? Check.
Old family recipes? Check.
Devoted, wise grandma? Check
Scrumptious, warm bubbling pies & pastry? Check

Pretty much a slam dunk. I did find the language repetitive and the main character cluelessly unappreciative, but it still worked...because, did I mention the pastries?! I could smell them from the pages.
Profile Image for Lisa Leone-campbell.
452 reviews44 followers
December 27, 2019
The Recipe Box is the tale of the Mullin's family women who prove that hard work, perseverance, luck, and love of family and baking can conquer any hardship and bring great joy.

The Mullin's family have owned an apple orchard in Michigan for 100 years. The Mullin's women have been creating recipes and baking for the same amount of time, with each generation adding to the substantial recipe collection. On a daughter's 13th birthday, she is given a key and a recipe box filled with all the collected recipes. The cards, stained with flour, oil and chocolate also holds the love which has been passed down over the years. On that same birthday, they bake with their mother and grandmother as the story of the creation of the recipe is told.

When Sam Mullins suddenly quits her baking job in New York she heads home to the orchard, the place she has always loved, but was never quite sure she wanted to make her permanent residence. While baking once again alongside her grandmother and her mother, she realizes she too is part of the history of this land. But with a new prestigious job prospect in New York, and a love interest she has tried to ignore for far too long, she must finally decide where her heart really lies.

As a celebration of the orchard's 100 year anniversary combined with her grandmother Willo's 75th birthday which will take place over Labor Day weekend comes closer, Sam must decide what her dreams for her future really are and what would make her most happy.

The book, which is filled with mouth watering recipes with an afterward which gives the reader the true stories of how the recipes really came to fruition is itself just another reason to love this story.
Because as Willo says, "There is nothing more important than family and food. Food represents how we celebrate, how we come together, how we rejoice, how we mourn and how we remain one." That, I believe, says it all.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,159 reviews101 followers
April 30, 2019
Sam left her family’s orchard to set off on her own path. She moved to New York to become a pastry chef, working at one of the most famous bakeries in NY. It’s not what she envisioned so when the Chef takes things too far, she quits her job and walks out. She returns to the orchard to be with family and lick her wounds. Here she will reacquaint with the history of her family, learn about what’s really important in life, and heal her heart...one recipe at a time.⁣

The Recipe Box is a feel good, cozy, sentimental, heartwarming book. It feels like being in Grandmas kitchen, the smell of pie baking and the sun streaming through the curtains. My Grandma was incredibly special to me and her box of recipe cards are one of my most prized possessions. In fact, I framed a few of her recipe cards and hung them in my kitchen so I could see them all of the time. I love the fingerprints, the spills, the handwritten notes. Because of this, I had no problem connecting with the story and I loved every minute of it. If you are a fan of feel good Hallmark movies, then this is the book for you! ⁣
Profile Image for Emma.
744 reviews
August 7, 2018
I don't know why I bothered to keep reading this book. The theme is SO overdone and the plot is SO obvious, and slow and annoying. Also the characters talk like Hallmark cards. Sweet, syrupy aphorism. No one talks that way.
Sam grew up in an orchard in Michigan where her family runs a pie pantry. She learned to cook from her mom and grandma but wanted to become a real pastry chef, so she went to New York to go to school. Got a terrible job with a reality TV chef, quits and goes back to Michigan. The ENTIRE plot is 1) should she stay in Michigan with her family and run the pie pantry or 2) should she move back to New York and get a job as a pastry chef.
Super annoying book. Don't read it.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,020 reviews101 followers
March 28, 2018
DNF at 27%

I wanted to love this. Books set in small towns always appeal to me. However, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get into this. I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters.

What Went Wrong:

1) The main character -

On the surface, there's nothing terrible about Sam. She's kind and sweet. She'd do anything for her family and friends, and she's experiencing a common problem: she doesn't know what to do next after her lifelong dream hasn't exactly gone as she had planned. However, while she has the qualities that make for a likable character, I couldn't bring myself to care about her. There was nothing about her that truly stood out to me, nothing that made her story feel compelling. Her voice didn't capture me, and while I did hope that she found herself again, I wasn't committed enough to find out if she did.

2) The Set-Up -

The Recipe Box contains multiple POVs/time periods. I understood what Viola was aiming for here - showing how multiple generations of Sam's family have found their way during tough times - but I wasn't a big fan of how it was presented. The change in POVs felt choppy, and given the length of the chapters, it was sometimes hard to remember what was going on before the change. Additionally, like with Sam, I couldn't bring myself to care about these women. I wanted to, I really did, but nothing sparkled here.

In all, The Recipe Box unfortunately wasn't the book for me. My big problem here was the characters. The premise itself was interesting, and I feel that if you like the characters, it would be an enjoyable read. So if it seems like the book for you give it a try! Hopefully you'll love it.

*ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for  ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ❤️.
2,298 reviews410 followers
May 28, 2018
Samantha arbeitet in New York als Konditorin. Die Arbeit an sich macht ihr Spaß, ihr Chef jedoch ist unerträglich. Eines Tages ist das Maß voll und Samantha kündigt ihren Job spontan und reist nach Michigan zu ihrer Familie. Sie braucht eine Auszeit und hofft, diese auf der Obstplantage ihrer Familie zu bekommen. Tatsächlich findet Samantha auf der Obstplantage langsam wieder zu sich selbst zurück.

Mein Leseeindruck:

Die Geschichte von Samantha hat mir gut gefallen, auch wenn Sam mir nicht immer sympathisch war und ich ihre Handlungen auch nicht immer wirklich nachvollziehen konnte. Dafür hat mir das Setting aber umso besser gefallen. Diese herrliche Obstplantage habe ich bildlich vor Augen gehabt und mich beim Lesen dorthin gewünscht. Der Zusammenhalt der Familie ist ebenfalls herzerwärmend. So eine tolle Familie sollte jeder haben!

Es ist eine eher ruhige Geschichte. Es gibt immer wieder kurze Rückblicke in das Leben von Sams Mutter und Großmutter, aber große Dramen darf man hier nicht erwarten. Es ist ein Wohlfühlbuch.

Auch sollte man beim Lesen Papier und Stift bereithalten, um die vielen leckeren Rezepte abzuschreiben, die hier immer wieder eingefügt sind.

Manchmal war es mir tatsächlich schon ein wenig zu viel „heile Welt“ und zu viel „Backen ist Liebe“, aber um sich an einen herrlichen Ort zu träumen, ist dieses Buch ideal!
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews86 followers
October 30, 2017

the recipe box
viola shipman

What it's all about...

One thing I know for certain...after reading this book the reader will either crave everything sweet or swear off of sugary treats forever! This book contains just about everything sweet and good that a book should have. It has a family...a Michigan family of bakers who own an apple orchard. The book shares stories from all of this family’s generations of bakers but focuses on Sam...she is the latest generation. She is a professionally trained chef working in NYC but...she comes home to Michigan and her family because she is at a unique point in her life. Sam needs to find out what she really wants to do with her life...is her happiness in NYC or is it in the big kitchens of her grandmother’s apple orchards. Only Sam can figure out her destiny.

Why I wanted to read it...

The cover of this book is deliciously enticing as are the many recipes it contains. The book details the strength of the women who have maintained and grown this orchard over the years. The book also details what life is like in Michigan near the largest lake ever.

What made me truly enjoy this book...

Viola Shipman used the most beautiful descriptive language when she described summers near Lake Michigan. Blues and greens and emeralds and incredibly lovely waters. Every time Sam or her dad took a bite of a crisp apple that fell from a tree right into their hands...I wanted one, too! And I can’t forget to mention the recipe boxes and their keys...the recipe cards dotted with butter and berry stains yet treasured over time. But that’s something the reader will savor while reading this book.

Why you should read it, too...

Readers who enjoy lovely family stories that have just a bit of angst...and tons of recipes containing apples and cherries...should enjoy this book. Just be prepared to bake something after every chapter.

I received an advance reader’s copy from St. Martin’s Press And NetGalley I read this book on my Kindle Oasis via Amazon in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Patricia.
524 reviews99 followers
November 22, 2017
I received an advanced reader's copy of THE RECIPE BOX for an honest review. Although this is not my usual genre, I quite enjoyed this feel-good read. The book begins with a young woman named Sam, a pastry chef, quitting her job in NYC. Sam returns to her family's orchard and restaurant in Michigan to decide who and what she wants to be. There are beautiful descriptions of Michigan and recipe boxes with delicious recipes which have been handed down over generations. With some light romance thrown in, and some recipes, THE RECIPE BOX was delightful.
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,343 reviews104 followers
March 4, 2018

Viola Shipman, Author of “The Recipe Box” has written a delightful, charming and heartwarming story of family, love, tradition and change. The Genres of this novel are Fiction and Women’s Fiction. The story takes place in Northern Michigan and New York.

The author describes her characters as likable, resourceful, hardworking, and enterprising. Sam Mullins comes back to the family orchard and pie baking business and shoppes, after a major disappointment in New York City. Sam has trained as a specialty chef, and wanted to leave the family orchard to find herself. Now she finds herself back home.

Sam learns about the history of the women in her family, and how the orchard was saved by the women in the family. . All of the women had a recipe box with a special key to keep their treasured baking recipes a secret to be passed down to the woman in the family. The family loves to bake, and baking is symbolic to showing love and following tradition.

Is their a recipe that will allow Sam to find where she should be and the answers to her dreams? What does the key to the recipe box represent? I recommend this enjoyable story to those readers of women’s fiction. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
Profile Image for Deanne Patterson.
1,829 reviews87 followers
May 10, 2018
Recipe lovers you're going to enjoy this one as each chapter starts off with a recipe and they sound absolutely delicious. Sam grew up in northern Michigan and her families orchard is all she knows. Looking to broaden her horizons while she adds a little excitement to her life she strikes out and lands a job as a chef in NYC. It's her dream job but when her boss turns out to not be who they portray themself as being she feels like a failure as she returns back home to the orchard. Surrounded by family, mother, grandmother I really enjoyed reading interactions between all these strong women.
Pub Date 20 Mar 2018
I received a complimentary copy from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley .. All opinions expressed are my own.
667 reviews111 followers
May 7, 2018
Very much recommended--and (I think) to be read at a time when "life" just isn't quite going the way one wants...
Profile Image for Peggy Geiger.
77 reviews22 followers
July 7, 2018
I enjoyed reading this charming book, complete with family recipes and the instructions intermixed into the storyline. Set against the backdrop of Northern Michigan, Samantha "Sam" Mullins grew up on the land of a family owned orchard. As with many young people, Sam cannot wait to get away from her rural country existence and see the world. After graduating from culinary school, Sam works in New York City as a pastry chef. After she abruptly quits her job, Sam goes back home, ostensibly for her Grandma Willo's 75th birthday party. While deciding what she wants to do with her life, Sam learns about the history of the women in her family and how the orchard was once saved by the women opening a pie pantry to offset the devastation loss of the fruit trees during a late spring freeze.
My most treasured heirlooms are the recipes passed down to me from my Mom, my Grandma and great Grandma. In the story, each daughter is given their own recipe box with a special key to keep their treasured recipes a secret to be passed down to the women in the family. The women love to bake, and their story is told through flashbacks of the previous generations. The baking is symbolic of their love of family and following the traditions of the past. As Sam learns to appreciate her roots and finds at last what truly makes her happy, we are caught up in the narrative of the story.
I was surprised to learn this novel was written by Viola Shipman, which is the pen name for Wade Rouse. The rare insight of female multi-generational love, tradition and legacy is captured completely by a male author. Awesome. I recommend this book to readers of all ages.
1,911 reviews31 followers
November 29, 2017
Thanks to Goodreads for this lovely book.A homecoming love family the bonus of delicious recipes that you will want to try.Would make a lovely holiday gift.
Profile Image for Meli  .
1,055 reviews188 followers
June 17, 2018
Das Leben in New York verläuft nicht so, wie Sam es sich erhofft hätte. Sie hat sich schon lange nach der weiten Welt gesehnt, doch nun will sie zum Jubiläum ihrer Obstplantage sowie zum Geburtstag ihrer Großmutter nach Hause zurück. Dort backt sie mit ihrer Mutter Deane und ihrer Großmutter Willo die alten Familienrezepte und lernt mehr über die Geschichte ihrer Familie.
Sie hat ihre Bestimmung noch nicht gefunden und weiß noch nicht, was sie sich vom Leben wünscht. Liegt ihre Zukunft in einer Bäckerei einer Großstadt? Oder auf der Obstfarm der Familie? Und was ist mit Angelo, der sich in ihr Herz geschlichen hat?


Sam wird seit Jahren vom Erbe ihrer Familie verfolgt. Sie steht unter Druck, da sie sich verpflichtet fühlt, ebenfalls auf der Obstfarm zu arbeiten und wie die Generationen vor ihr ihr Leben diesem Weg zu widmen. Deswegen flüchtet sie vor dieser Verantwortung und sucht sich Alternativen, und hält dabei Abstand zu ihrer Familie, die sich bei ihr aber die größte Mühe geben und sie mit Liebe überschütten. Sam ist aber ständig ängstlich, weil sie eben niemanden enttäuschen will, aber sie kann sich im Moment einfach nicht festlegen. Ich konnte es schon verstehen, dass sie sich gegen diese "Bestimmung wehrt", aber es hat mich schon ein wenig genervt. Es war mit das Hauptthema des Buches und für jeden Fortschritt gab es wieder Rückschritte, sodass man auf der Stelle trat.
Sie betont zwar immer wieder, wie viel ihr die Familie bedeutet, aber wegen ihrer Zukunftsängste erschafft sie eine Distanz und es wirkt, als wäre sie ihr doch egal. Sie wirkte wegen ihrer Unentschlossenheit irgendwie egoistisch.

Andere Charaktere

Ihre Großmutter Willo ist meiner Meinung nach der andere Star dieses Buches, da sie sich um die Familie und die Obstfarm kümmert. Aber auch alle anderen Frauen spielen eine wichtige Rolle. Sie alle haben für die Farm gelebt und alles getan, um ihre Familie zu unterstützen und ihre Liebe weiterzugeben. Die Familie hält immer zusammen, durch die schwierigsten Zeiten hindurch, und sie sind immer zur Obstfarm und zu dem Weg ihrer Vorgänger zurückgekehrt, selbst nach vielen Zweifeln. Den Zusammenhalt und die Liebe dieser Familie, die über Generationen getragen wird, fand ich wirklich sehr schön.

Ansonsten gab es da noch Angelo, der sehr nett ist und sich ganz eindeutig für Sam interessiert. Er reagiert immer verständnisvoll, ist sehr geduldig und ist auch sonst sehr perfekt.

Handlung und Schreibstil

Die Perfektion aller Charaktere - außer Sam - fand ich wirklich anstrengend. Sie sind alle weise und schmeißen mit tiefsinnigen Sprüchen um sich, sie sind geduldig und liebevoll, witzig und sie sagen oder tun nie etwas falsches. Ich hatte das Gefühl, dass sie da sind, um Sam zu unterstützen und sie noch schlechter dastehen zu lassen.

Ich fand zwar die Familiengeschichte, die sich über Generationen zieht und durch Rückblicke noch deutlicher wirkt, sehr rührend. Wie sie füreinander da sind und wie die geerbten Rezepte sowie die Obstfarm sie verbinden.
Aber ich fand es immer weniger realistisch und schrecklich kitschig. Es war mir oft einfach zu viel des Guten.

Schön fand ich aber noch die Gliederung des Buches. Es ist in Kapitel unterteilt, wo es jeweils um ein Rezept mit viel Bedeutung geht, das am Ende des Kapitels auch noch mal niedergeschrieben wird, sodass man zum Schluss etwa 15 schöne fruchtige Rezepte hat, die auch zur Atmosphäre beitragen.


Zwar hat mir die Familiengeschichte in "Weil es dir Glück bringt" wirklich gut gefallen und konnte mich berühren, nur leider wurde ich mit der Protagonistin nicht warm, fand die Charaktere generell zu perfekt und die Handlung oft schrecklich kitschig.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews153 followers
April 10, 2018
Really loved this one!
Five Stars: A delightful and delicious book that is all about love, family, roots and wings.

Sam trudges to work. It is early in the morning, but New York City is awake and buzzing. Why does she feel this knot of dread in her stomach every day when she arrives at what is supposedly her dream job? Today is different. The cute little bakery is dark and quiet. A note from the head pastry chef alerting their ridiculous boss that she is quitting is the way Sam starts her day. Things go from bad to worse when Chef Dimples acts like the pompous fake he is, leaving Sam no choice but to quit. Tail between her legs, Sam slinks home to her family’s orchard and pie shop. While Sam is home, she reconnects with her family, her roots and her heritage all courtesy of her family recipe box. Each recipe is a tried and true and each one has a story. Will Sam find her way?
What I Liked:
*The Recipe Box is a charming, sweet treat that I absolutely adored. I was enchanted by the recipe box and the familial stories that were tied into each of the recipes. This is a story about life, love, family and baking. The best part is that the book is packed with mouth watering, scrumptious recipes.
*I loved that this novel was all about family and roots. The book is filled with small stories about the women in Sam’s family, from her great great grandmother, Alice, her great grandmother, Madge, her beloved grandmother, Willo, and her own mother. Each woman was instrumental in making sure the family orchard survived for the next generation, and each woman added her own recipes and stories to the treasured recipe box. It was a joy to uncover each recipe and to learn the story behind each recipe card in the box.
*This story is a loose collection of familial stories woven around the main story arc that follows Sam as she battles with her personal choices. Will she continue to seek out the world and reach for big city dreams, or will she find love and return to her roots? I think everyone goes through a point in their life when they struggle to find their place and their path. I enjoyed following Sam’s journey.
*I loved the strong female characters in this book. Each of the women in the book somehow found a way to save the family orchard during hard times such as the depression and war time, bad weather, illness and death, and the ever changing economy of agriculture. The women made the orchard run, and they did it with luck, love and sheer determination as well as a few sweet treats and recipe boxes.
*I was enchanted by the concept of the recipe box. The women believed that baking was an act of love, and they treasured the recipes passed down from woman to woman in the family. I recall watching my own grandmothers bake as a girl, and I am sad that many of my paternal grandmother’s recipes are lost as she mainly cooked and baked from memory. What a treasure it would be to have a recipe box loaded with recipes from my female ancestors.
*One of the best parts of this book for me was the delicious recipes. There were some yummy recipes in this book, and I am more than anxious to try them. I loved that at the end of the book, the author shared the true story behind each and every recipe. Make sure you read the author’s notes.
*The ending is nostalgic and wonderful. It was perfect.
And The Not So Much:
*I loved the women in this book, but I have to admit, I struggled with Sam, the main character. She is constantly pushing away people in her life, especially those who care the most about her, whether it be her family, a man who adores her or her childhood boyfriend. I wish she had been warmer and more endearing.
*I was drawn in by so many of the stories about the women who came before, and there were numerous times after a story completed, that I was left wanting more. I especially wanted more of Grandma Willo’s stories. I couldn’t get enough.
*The romance was a bit of a miss for me, and I think because it lacked spark because one of the participants is closed off and unwilling to open up and take a chance. The other put themselves out there over and over only to be shut down. That drove me nuts!

The Recipe Box was the perfect pick me up, feel good read that I have been craving. This book has so much heart and soul. It is all about family, roots, heart, home and recipes. If you want a book with scrumptious recipes and a wonderful story, this is one to grab. This will be a favorite on my shelf.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.

Profile Image for Kim.
701 reviews
January 10, 2019
2.5 stars, a fun light read. Sure made me want to hit a bakery pronto. LOL
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