Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and 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.

My Review:

“You bake for someone because it is familial and familiar, new yet ancestral, a way of connecting generations.”

This was an easy book for me to get pulled into.  The story is set among the backdrop of northern Michigan and New York City and follows Sam Mullins when she suddenly quits her dream job in New York City and returns home to Michigan.  Her family is there with open arms, lots of encouragement and words of wisdom to help her decide what to do about her career and her love life. 

The story flashes back and forth between Sam and her relatives, with the stories about their life at the Mullins Family Orchard and Pie Pantry and how they prepare it for future generations.  It’s an inspirational story that will remind you of the importance of family.  I liked how each section of the book was titled with a dessert and the recipe is pulled from the recipe box and prepared during that part of the story.  The recipes are included after each section so you can recreate them.  It even made someone like me, a non-baker, want to start baking.  I had a hard time putting down this book.  Not a detail was missed and everything was so vividly written that it felt very real to me.  I could easily visualize this book as a movie.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this book

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