Stones for Bread is an enchanting, emotional, story about Liesl McNamara.
Written in first person present tense, we get an intimate look at Liesl's introverted personality and the events that led to who she is presently. All this while we watch her change and bloom and overcome her traumatic past. Liesl isn't like the many characters I meet on a weekly basis, she stands out. She loves her routine and likes the amount of control she has over her business. She likes certainty. In this aspect at least, I can relate to her.
This is going to sound strange, but this book reminds me of the movie Chocolat. Not because of the characters or even the setting, but because of the heart and soul of making bread passed down from mother to daughter on Liesl's mother's side. In Chocolat, Vianne and her daughter, Anouk, open a chocolate shop. The recipe Vianne uses has been passed down in her family for ages. Chocolat and Stones for Bread are very different in all other ways, but the familiar legacy is similar. I really liked that.
Throughout the novel, Parrish offers us Liesl's recipes. I loved this! In fact I plan on trying Cecilia's chocolate bread soon. I don't normally say this, but I felt like I learned quite a bit about the art of bread making. Parrish gives us this information without boring us, something that could be a big concern for some people. Will I, personally, put it to use? I'm not sure.
I recommend this book to readers sixteen and older for self-harming and a suicide (I'd say more on this, but... spoilers!). Parrish weaves Christianity into this story in a fabulous, unexpected way; especially because Liesl was never a big church goer at the beginning of the story.
I received this book from Booksneeze in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!
A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.
Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her
earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of
baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as
the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her
elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.
But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated.
Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an
apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable
cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with
strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.
When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears
a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be
her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her
family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the
baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and
remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.
Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment, Stones for Bread provides a feast for the senses from award-winning author Christa Parrish.