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 to how to move on with her life. She’d just as soon toss the anonymous gift, but to make Gracie happy, she agrees to bake the bread.

When Julia meets two newcomers to the small town of Avalon, Illinois, she sparks a connection by offering them her extra bread starter. Widow Madeline Davis is laboring to keep her tea salon afloat while Hannah Wang de Brisay, a famed concert cellist, is at a crossroads, her career and marriage having come to an abrupt end. In the warm kitchen of Madeline’s tea salon, the three women forge a friendship that will change their lives forever.

In no time, everyone in Avalon is baking Amish Friendship Bread. But even as the town unites for a benevolent cause and Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.

About life and loss, friendship and community, food and family, Friendship Bread tells the uplifting story of what endures when even the unthinkable happens.

Friendship Bread is the sort of feel good story that would work beautifully for a book club choice or as a gift to a great girl friend. This is a book to be shared. Friendship Bread is reminiscent of such great girly reads as Fried Green Tomatoes and The Jane Austen Book Club. Uplifting, funny, sweet, at times sad and always entertaining Friendship Bread will have you wanting to bake the bread and share it with your friends.

I started this book and I could not stop ! I didn’t want to do anything till I finished it. I had to go out and I was annoyed that I had to put it down. This is such a beautiful heart warming story. I really enjoyed the way Darien Gee wove the story, with chapters devoted to many characters this book just draws you in. Each chapter is almost like a story within a story. I found myself wishing it was longer simply so I could learn more about the quirky characters of Avalon.

The story begins with Julia Evarts, her story is heart breaking and beautiful. Told in a simple style Julia’s story will have you weeping with her tragedies and cheering as she finds her way back into the world. Her discovery of this strange gift brings her out into the world after shutting herself off after the death of her son. She meets some wonderful new friends and starts to see that there is life after tragedy.

Readers will fall in love with Julia and her new friends and the beautiful little town of Avalon. This is a book to be shared over and over again. Give it to the women in your life, share the gift of this beautiful story, your friends will thank you.

Like me I know many readers will be very happy to discover that Darien Gee has thoughtfully included recipes for the starter for Friendship Bread, instructions on how to make it and of course variations of the recipe too. I know I will definitely be attempting to make this bread after reading the story. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did, it really is a beautiful story that makes you feel happy to have friends to share it with.