Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review of Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread and Wine is a celebrations of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It's about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.
I approached this book from a different angle. Instead of me reading it by myself, the small community of gals I'm in read this book together. It's not only a book to read, but a book to experience together: in the kitchen. After several chapters, a recipe was given, so every week, we took a couple of the recipes, whipped them up in the kitchen then ate together around the table with a glass of wine (sometimes it was white, sometimes red, and one time green). Through good conversation about out thoughts on the book, we ate and journeyed together.

Group reviews about the book were along the same threads. My personal review of the book would echo my friends'. I like the short chapters. Each being a snap shot into a season of Shauna's life. I liked how the recipes meant something to her. They had a past, a memory, a meaning. I liked her honesty of hardships of how her journey of life has been. I liked her recipe choices.

On the flip side of the coin, it was a bit difficult to find a flow. Maybe I wasn't supposed to, or there wasn't one to be found, but not knowing her personally and finding it difficult to relate, every chapter I was wondering where in the context of her life this chapter happened. She writes beautifully, so it was capturing to read, but the overall flow was hard for me to follow.

Along the flow part, some of the recipes were hard to follow. For example, the Green Well's Michigan Harvest Salad directions for the maple vinaigrette didn't follow the order of the items listed. I had to jump back and forth between the two to make sure I was putting things in the correct order.

Some of the recipes we as a group created together were:
     Goat Cheese Biscuits
     Basic Risotto (I think this was one of our fav's)
     Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce
     The Green Well's Michigan Harvest Salad
     Mango Chicken Curry (we swapped mango's with pineapples)
     Mini Mac and Cheese

We are not yet finished with trying the recipes, but with the enjoyment we each had with the above, we know they are going to be fantastic.

Overall, a good book of reading about the life of someone and seeing how her faith, friends and food are all an integral part of her journey that she is on.

Available April 2013.

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life--friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.

Zondervan sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions are expressed as my own.

1 comment:

Diane Estrella said...

Great review and interesting book.

BTW- if you are interested, I have 8 giveaways going on at my site if you want to stop over and take a look. Hope you have a super week!

Diane :)