Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book Review - Stones for Bread


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 her 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.


Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at:


This was a really unusual, but enjoyable book. It's all about bread, which doesn't sound like it would be interesting, but it really is. The author tells the story of Liesl, a bread maker that owns a bakery, and her childhood and her life today.  The book takes us back into Liesl's childhood, into the history of bread, gives us recipes and shares Liesl's life today.

Liesl is a woman whose past still haunts her - in good ways and bad. Her Grandmother and Mother were also makers of breads. Her Grandmother, from Germany, holds bread in high regard and she and Liesl's mother make every imaginable kind of bread and share this with Liesl. It's the tie that binds her to her mother and grandmother.

Liesl's employee, Gretchen, submits the bakery into a game show of sorts and they pick Leisl. Although she is not really a people person, she accepts the challenge because of the prize of $10,000. This will help her to realize a dream she's had to go to France - a dream her Mother also had, but never realized.

I really loved all the diverse characters in this book - Liesl, Xavier, Jude, Gretchen, Tee, Cecilia and Seamus. Each one adds so much to the story in unique ways and I really like how Seamus and his daughter, Cecilia draw Liesl out of her shell. It's really sweet how their relationship slowly builds in the book.

I also enjoyed all the recipes for all the breads. So many unusual breads that will make your mouth water! I can't wait to try making some of them! I also liked the historical references to bread - this sounds quite strange - but it really enhances the book and shows us the real importance of bread, especially to Liesl.

I highly recommend this book. It's a lovely story that will keep your attention and you'll really wonder what's going to happen next. There are sad parts but happy parts, just like real life, and that's the sign of a good book, in my opinion.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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