Shipman, Viola. 2018. The Recipe Box. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books, and imprint of Macmillan Publishers. ISBN: 978-1250146779. $26.99 USD.
The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman was a special read for me, and I already have a number of library patrons, family and friends who I know will love it. Thanks to Edelweiss and Macmillan Publishers for the Advanced Reader's Copy!
The main character in this novel, Samantha "Sam" Mullins, grew up in a small town working in her family's orchard and pie shop. She couldn't wait to leave and make her way in the "real world" of a New York bakery. After a miserable experience as the sous chef for an egotistical celebrity baker, Sam returns home to work the summer for her family and reconnects with her mother, Deana, and her grandmother, Willa. She learns their histories as an adult and begins to see them in a different light, opening herself up to love and a future she thought she never wanted. This is a heartwarming book full of well-drawn characters, engaging dialogue and emotional resonance.
As a side note, I am of German descent and my grandmother and mother were excellent bakers and cooks. My mother collected recipes over many years and self-published two cookbooks, with stories to go along with the recipes; many people have been blessed by her cookbooks. And when I got married my mother, grandmother and aunt presented me with a wooden recipe box with hand written recipes filling it! Those cards are smudged, stained and crumpled, just like the author's descriptions of recipe cards in this novel. Lots of love expressed in my life over the years through sharing food and fellowship.
Below are pictures of my mom's cookbooks and recipe cards, some of which are over 30 years old!
Happy Reading (and eating)!
P.S. Fun Fact: Viola Shipman is a pseudonym for Wade Rouse (who has also written The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest). Rouse chose his grandmother's name, Viola Shipman, "to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing."
Wade Rouse will be an honored speaker at an author lunch at the 2018 Texas Library Association's Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas on April 4th.