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Friendship Bread

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  7,398 ratings  ·  1,266 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, an
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,398 ratings  ·  1,266 reviews

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Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Robin Reynolds
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
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
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I'm a sucker for feel good stories that focus on friendship, so I went back to Avalon, Illinois, Darien Gee's fictional small town. Friendship Bread is the novel before The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and introduces us readers to Avalon and Madeline Davis and her Tea Salon before her establishment became the town's hub.

It all starts with an elderly man. A man who knows and loves his neighbors. One neighbor is Julia Evarts. She hardly ever leaves her house any more. The house is no longer
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Lindsey Gandhi
This book is just as warm, delightful, cozy, fragrant and delicious as the Amish friendship bread that brings this town, these families and friends together. Food has a healing power to break down walls, and this book is a good example of that.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
***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
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
I loved this book! I loved how a simple loaf of bread touched an entire town and how the main characters' stories all were intertwined and everything came full circle. The only "negative" I would have is that there was a whole slew of characters, and it was hard to keep everybody straight. Overall, this was a solid, homespun story full of heart. A knock out of the park! ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
All wrapped up just like a loaf of fresh bread. I enjoyed the story and characters very much.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. This is my second time reading this book. Love the storyline of a bag of starter connecting & tying all the characters together through the Amish Friendship Bread
Actual rating: 2.5, but it's probably closer to 2 than 3, so 2 it is because I wouldn't say I liked it.

So I finally finished this book. I started this book because it was part of the A Bowl Full of Lemons book club and I thought it would be neat to be part of an online book club - unfortunately a) I fell behind reading it, and b) their meetings were pretty much when I was going to bed.
I am not really sure what to say about this book. There were parts that I liked, and parts that I didn't like.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books-read
Charming story of a small town, filled with wonderful characters who are real people. No one is perfect-- they are each struggling with life's challenges. The story is centered around a unique recipe for Friendship Bread, a cake like bread, which is made from a sourdough starter that needs to be fed and nourished, just like people. The story is a chain letter metaphor of one good deed blossoming into many more. The book started out slowly, as there were so many characters to keep straight, but a ...more
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the 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
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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 is copied below.

Have you heard of (or tasted) Amish Friendship Bread? The cinnamon bread/cake is made from a sou
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
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Tracy Murray
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I was SO glad to recieve this book as part of first reads give away. I could not put it 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
Sarah Ford
Jul 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I was leaning towards a 5 star rating. The last half of the book just fell a little short to me somehow. There was just a little too much talk of the bread. But, oh how I loved the ending. I am going to read the one about scrap booking next. And, am about to mix up a starter. I am not planning on sharing any. Just make the bread for a one time experience. I think having read the book will make me enjoy it even more. This is an excellent feel good book ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was just what I needed. not that I needed it, but to remind me how much I love my friends and my family. that no matter how big of a shit deal life hands out, there is a light at the end of the dark dark tunnel. I dont make amish friendship bread, but I have have knitters as my dear dear friends and I love them all very much.
Alyssa Lane
Sep 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was bored the entire time I trudged through this one. I just didn't connect with ANY of the characters or their "struggles" as I will loosely put it. I wanted this to be a cute and feel good little story but it just fell flat for me. ...more
Jul 11, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a reread for me. Enjoyable, easy read.
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Mom's Book Banter: ERC Discussion - Friendship Bread 28 13 Sep 05, 2015 10:04AM  

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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.

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