Read Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish Online

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What do you do when the gift you thought was bread turns out to be stones?Liesl McNamara’s Wild Rise is not only a popular bakehouse and café in Vermont, it’s an extension of herself. Liesl is an artisan bread maker, like her mother and grandmother before her. Even though she lost her mother to suicide when she was eleven, she keeps this maternal bond alive as she bakes.LiWhat do you do when the gift you thought was bread turns out to be stones?Liesl McNamara’s Wild Rise is not only a popular bakehouse and café in Vermont, it’s an extension of herself. Liesl is an artisan bread maker, like her mother and grandmother before her. Even though she lost her mother to suicide when she was eleven, she keeps this maternal bond alive as she bakes.Liesl prides herself on living an uncomplicated, unattached life. But that changes when Seamus walks through the door of Wild Rise, lugging the large bags of whole wheat flour from the local food co-op. He and his daughter Cecelia have recently moved to the country seeking simplicity. Despite her best effort, Liesl becomes attracted to this teddy bear of a man who laughs easily and eats strange sandwich concoctions—on her bread, much to her dismay.Her simple life is further complicated when a popular cooking show features her bakery. The publicity increases her business and brings several offers from larger businesses, all of which she turns down. But it also brings a completely unexpected phone call, one from a woman claiming to be her half-sister.Liesl’s sense of identity dissolves as everything about her relationship with her mother—and the bread that held them together—comes into question. Has she been given stones rather than bread? And how can she ever take these crumbs and make them whole again?...

Title : Stones for Bread
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781401689018
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stones for Bread Reviews

  • Dale Harcombe
    2019-04-18 01:36

    Three and a half stars. I enjoyed this book despite some initial misgivings because the book starts off narrated by Liesl, who at the time is four years old. This four year old talks like no four year old I have ever met. Despite that less than auspicious beginning, I kept reading. That section is fairly short and so I soon got into it. At times I found it a little confusing as it jumped around in times, as well as giving some history of bread. Not being overly interested in bread I found some of the history aspects rather boring, but maybe that is just me. I was more interested in the story of the only child, Liesl, who inherited her love of bread making from her mother and grandmother. This resulted in her making a choice that saw her open her bakery Wild Rise. I appreciated the way the novel slowly reveals how Liesl’s upbringing has shaped her character. While I liked Liesl as a character, as well as some of the minor characters, I particularly like Tee one of the characters who cooks at Wild Rise. With her personality and background, she adds a bit of bite to the story and stops it from becoming overly sweet. I also like Seamus and his young daughter Cecilia as well as Xavier and other misfit characters that populate this book. There are some secrets from the past revealed and a romance, though the romance cannot be said to be the main focus of the story, in my opinion. There are also recipes. Not being interested in bread making I skipped over these to read the story. The Christian message is woven into this story so if you don’t like Christian fiction it may not appeal. But if you do, you will find plenty in the character of Liesl and the plot to engage you. This is another book where I really liked the cover. Over all this was an engaging read and I may read another by this author.

  • Aline Kaehler
    2019-04-07 04:37

    I chose this book for the plot and the cover. Gorgeous artwork on the cover, and the plot seemed interesting. I read the other reviews and honestly have no idea why it is rated so highly.I couldn’t get “in” to the book. It seems all over the place to me, trying to be several different things that don’t fit together. For starters, the book is narrated by the main character. That’s not something I enjoy, ever. But to make things worse the first chapter is told by the main character when she is 4 years old and the vocabulary and narrative are so adult, complex and poetic that the author lost me on the first page. A 4 year old would never talk like that.Added to that I felt like the author was trying too hard. First person narrative + dramatic metaphors + romance + family drama + analogies of Jesus and bread + throwbacks to the past + recipes (yes, recipes!!). It’s just too much. This is a classic case of more is less.Apparently I’m one of the few who don’t think this is great, so don’t take it from me, read for yourself, and I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I made myself continue reading, but there was nothing that made me want to turn the pages, there was nothing that got me excited to continue reading.

  • JoJo Sutis
    2019-04-11 21:26

    Christa Parrish has chosen only the best ingredients for her latest release “Stones For Bread”!This book is to be savored slowly, enjoyed and shared.Bread-making and writing are fine arts and they marry well in this story.From page one, I could smell the rich smell of bread baking and I was hungry for more.Christa’s writing is so descriptively wonderful, I could only describe it as a feast for the senses!Main character Liesl reminisced of baking with her mother and grandmother….I couldn’t help but think of the fond memories spent with my own mother and grandmother in the kitchen.This story is unlike anything I’ve ever read and it is absolutely one of my favorite books of 2013!!!Many recipes included which may induce major carb cravings!!!

  • Rosie
    2019-04-17 05:39

    Stones for Bread is an enchanting, emotional, story about Liesl McNamara.Written in first person present tense, we get an intimate look at Liesl's introverted personality and the events that led to who she is presently. All this while we watch her change and bloom and overcome her traumatic past. Liesl isn't like the many characters I meet on a weekly basis, she stands out. She loves her routine and likes the amount of control she has over her business. She likes certainty. In this aspect at least, I can relate to her.This is going to sound strange, but this book reminds me of the movie Chocolat. Not because of the characters or even the setting, but because of the heart and soul of making bread passed down from mother to daughter on Liesl's mother's side. In Chocolat, Vianne and her daughter, Anouk, open a chocolate shop. The recipe Vianne uses has been passed down in her family for ages. Chocolat and Stones for Bread are very different in all other ways, but the familiar legacy is similar. I really liked that.Throughout the novel, Parrish offers us Liesl's recipes. I loved this! In fact I plan on trying Cecilia's chocolate bread soon. I don't normally say this, but I felt like I learned quite a bit about the art of bread making. Parrish gives us this information without boring us, something that could be a big concern for some people. Will I, personally, put it to use? I'm not sure.I recommend this book to readers sixteen and older for self-harming and a suicide (I'd say more on this, but... spoilers!). Parrish weaves Christianity into this story in a fabulous, unexpected way; especially because Liesl was never a big church goer at the beginning of the story.I received this book from Booksneeze in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!

  • Casey
    2019-03-25 21:50

    It’s been too long since I’ve picked up a Christa Parrish novel. Her name has become synonymous with that of deep, well thought out women’s fiction and I was not the least bit disappointed in her 2013 release.“Stones for Bread” is not a light and fluffy read (pun intended), but one much like the sourdough our heroine makes and is known for: thick and more than a bit sour. Leisel is a complicated character and you have to read much of the book before the pieces of her story start to unravel to get a glimpse into who this woman is. I loved how Seamus disrupted her normal routine and nothing was the same. I thought the crafting of these two character’s relationship was absolutely beautiful. It wasn’t rushed or hurried, because that isn’t what Leisel would be able to handle. As the reader, you get to watch her slowly unfurl and rise from the ashes that have too long defined her.It’s a great question for the reader too: what part of your past do you allow to affect and define who you are right now? This novel would be a fantastic book club read, but there is also so much to enjoy even if read by one’s self. I’ve loved the previous two titles I’ve read by this author. Her way of seeing the world moves me, while also incredibly thought provoking and deep. Stones for Bread is another fine example of the growth and ability that is rising from this able and worthy talent.This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse and Netgalley for my copy to review.

  • Leona
    2019-03-28 02:39

    From goodreads.com:What do you do when the gift you thought was bread turns out to be stones?Liesl McNamara’s Wild Rise is not only a popular bakehouse and café in Vermont, it’s an extension of herself. Liesl is an artisan bread maker, like her mother and grandmother before her. Even though she lost her mother to suicide when she was eleven, she keeps this maternal bond alive as she bakes.Liesl prides herself on living an uncomplicated, unattached life. But that changes when Seamus walks through the door of Wild Rise, lugging the large bags of whole wheat flour from the local food co-op. He and his daughter Cecelia have recently moved to the country seeking simplicity. Despite her best effort, Liesl becomes attracted to this teddy bear of a man who laughs easily and eats strange sandwich concoctions—on her bread, much to her dismay.Her simple life is further complicated when a popular cooking show features her bakery. The publicity increases her business and brings several offers from larger businesses, all of which she turns down. But it also brings a completely unexpected phone call, one from a woman claiming to be her half-sister.Liesl’s sense of identity dissolves as everything about her relationship with her mother—and the bread that held them together—comes into question. Has she been given stones rather than bread? And how can she ever take these crumbs and make them whole again?Paperback, 326 pagesPublished November 5th 2013 by Thomas Nelson PublishersLeona's ReviewStones for Bread by Christa ParrishThis is the story of Liesl McNamara who has become a baker. Bread is the main staple in her life and I find she is afraid to let people become close to her. The book is told in past tense and goes from the present time to before the death of her mother. Liesl's mother committed suicide when Liesl was only 12 years of age.I had a hard time reading this book and it took almost a week to do so. I found it emotional and a reminder of how I miss my mother. Liesl owns a bakery, Wild Rise, in a small town. She makes breads of all kinds and there are some wonderful recipes in the book and very detailed.I loved the characters of Tee and Cecilia the most. All had a place in the book but these grabbed my heart. The other main characters are Xavier, her main baker who also loves the bread making; Gretchen, who works in the bakery; Jude, a drop out who lives with his grandfather, Xavier, and becomes an important part of the story; Seamus, the father of Cecelia; Oma, the dead grandmother of Liesl who is often so part of Liesl and so important; Claudia, the mother of Liesl and Alistair, the father of Liesl. Liesl is part of a cooking show called Bake- Off. I could almost see Bobby Flay there and especially when the host of the show, Jonathan, says "awesome". Gretchen has signed her up for the show and I will let you read about the outcome. The book does flow quite well even with the back and forth on the time periods. It is a Christian book and is good for those who have wandered from God and the Church and find they need to re-connect. Lots of sad times so keep the tissues handy. It is one to read about someone who seems lost and needs to open up to people, especially her father. I did like the outcome of the book and will give it a 4 star because of the characters, the feelings I felt for the characters, the history of bread and also the recipes. Oma's crock with her sourdough in it, which must be fed, is also a very important part of the story of Liesl.Liesl's bread recipes are for: Barley-Wheat Sourdough, Cecilia's Dark Chocolate Pain au Levain, Claudia's Christstollen, Liesl's Orange Chai Boule, Pumpernickel Onion Sourdough Bread, "Stick to Your Buns" Sticky Buns, Wild Rise Petite Baguette, Wild White Sandwich Bread and Wild Yeast Starter.The book is dedicated to: For Chris, If I could choose again, I'd choose you.I received a complimentary copy of Stones for Bread to read and review from Litfuse Publicity . This is published byThomas Nelson Publishers. The opinions are my own.Leona Olsonhttp://www.mnleona.blogspot.comChrista Parrish may be reached at www.christaparrish.comShe is also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christ...

  • Iola
    2019-04-06 21:30

    Liesl McNamara is the owner of Wild Rise, a specialty bakery in a small town in Vermont. The story is told on three different levels. This should be distracting, but somehow it isn’t (that could be because I’m a fact and history nut). The main story is that of Liesl, an only child who has inherited a love of breadmaking from her German mother and Oma (grandmother). This main story is interspersed with stories from Liesl’s past—happy stories about her learning the art of breadmaking, and sadder stories of grief and loss. The third story is the place of bread in history—the labour required to produce a single loaf of bread is astounding, as is the role of bread in history. All are written in the first person, from Liesl’s viewpoint. There are also recipes linking to the story. Our initial impression of Liesl is of a competent professional woman, but as the stories progress, we start to see her as a damaged individual with deep issues. She makes bread, in part, because that’s something she is able to control—unlike life. There are some painful and poignant insights into Liesl, into humanity, and into why we find it difficult to submit to God. Christian fiction mostly stays within strict genre definitions. A novel might be a romance or romantic suspense or a thriller or Amish, but it’s definable. This is less so, and with a focus more on the internal journey of Liesl. This, combined with the threefold plot, the recipes and the beautiful use of language is why Stones for Bread doesn’t sit comfortably in any genre. It is not romance, although there is a romantic element. It is not action or suspense. The closest definition is women’s fiction, but even that runs the risk of missing something. Sure, this is the story of one woman and there are elements all women will find familiar, but there is something more, and it’s that something that raises this book above average, above what I normally find in Christian fiction. I didn’t read the recipes. I read the first one and decided to thank God for the fact that I don’t have to put this level of effort into putting bread on the table for my family. Sure, even the fresh baked in-store bread from my local supermarket or bakery doesn’t match up to what Liesl sells at Wild Rise, but I know I’m never going to put that level of effort into baking a loaf of bread. Maybe that’s my loss. Recommended. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze for providing a free ebook for review.

  • Wanda
    2019-04-01 00:48

    Liesl McNamara was a bread maker by trade but it was more than that. Making bread was a family tradition that was passed from generation to generation. She learned to make bread at the hands of her mother and grandmother, Oma, from the time she was a little girl. When she found her mother dead at the age of only thirteen, Liesl closed herself off from the world eventually turning to bread making as an escape from the memories that haunted her. Now, years later, she hides from the past in her bake house, Wild Rise. Because her apprentice sends in an application for the TV show Bake-Off, Liesl sons finds herself in the middle of production with some hard decisions to make. But a little girl and her father have worked their way into her life and heart and Liesl has to decide if she is willing to let go of the past and look toward the future.Seamus Tate is the new flour delivery man for Wild Rise bake house. After his wife walked out he found himself as a single father trying to raise a six year-old alone. When his daughter, Cecelia, becomes attached to the bakery owner he soon finds himself becoming attached to her as well. Liesl has worked her way into his heart and when his mother becomes ill and needs constant care Seamus has no choice but to return to Tennessee. Is his love enough for Liesl? Can she give up the one thing she has always used as a balm to her wounds? Or will she give up the only true love she has ever known?I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book. I like for a book to wrap itself around me until I feel like I am a part of the story and I just didn't feel that with this book. I love the traditions ingrained in Liesl's family. The bread making that was passed from generation to generation is something to be admired because it brought a closeness between Liesl, her mother and grandmother. Bread making was their solace and that is a beautiful thing. There are a lot of descriptions on bread and bread making all throughout the story. So much so that I feel like bread makers will be more likely to get the most out of the story. I loved her mix matched "family" though. They are described on page 211 like this, "...odd, growing Wild Rise family of immigrants, high school dropouts, nerdy engineers, flirty artists, fundamentalist farm girls, and everyone else." This is such an accurate description and you can't help but love the characters. Xavier and Tee especially. It also covered an issue that is seldom discussed and that is, self-inflicted pain. Kids often inflict pain upon themselves as a way of dealing with the problems going on in their lives. In Liesl's case she would beat her legs with a hairbrush until she was black and blue. I feel it's a problem that should be addressed more and I give a thumbs up to Christa Parrish for bringing it to light.I am a romance junkie at heart, though, and I feel like the one thing I love took a backseat to everything else. The romance between Liesl and Seamus was slow in developing and I really like that but I wanted to read more about it. I wish it had been woven into the story more often. Seamus was such a sweet, teddy bear of a man and I would like to have seen more of him. Also, all throughout the book the story would just stop and there would be a section connecting Jesus, the Bread of Life, to the bread we consume daily and then the story would resume where it left off. While I completely agree with this theological concept, it somehow seemed misplaced for me. I'm still struggling with how to classify this book as well. Is it romance, self-help or women's fiction maybe? I'll let you be the judge. I also feel like there was a loose end. I like my books all tied up in neat little packages but I felt like there was a loose thread left hanging. If you are a romance junkie like I am, while you might like the sense of family this book evokes, you may not love the story as a whole quite as much. However, if you are a bread enthusiast I do recommend it as you will most likely love it because it has a lot of references to and instructions on bread and bread making and it also includes several recipes.Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

  • Kathleen (Kat) Smith
    2019-04-08 03:47

    "Alexandre Dumas, père, wrote of bakers: In Paris today millions of pounds of bread are sold daily, made during the previous night by those strange, half-naked beings one glimpses through cellar windows, whose wild-seeming cries floating out of those depths always makes a painful impression. In the morning, one sees these pale men, still white with flour, carrying a loaf under one arm, going off to rest and gather new strength to renew their had and useful labor when night comes again. I have always highly esteemed the brave and humble workers who labor all night to produce those soft but crusty loaves that look more like cake than bread...It is bread that keeps them alive. Give us this day our daily bread, they pray, and they praise the Almighty for it. Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. So, I pack the bread in bags, like I will for any paying customer. I don't send burnt loaves or stale loaves, or any kitchen experiment I don't believe is quality enough to sell. I will not give to the least of these anything I will not offer to my Lord, should he walk into Wild Rise one afternoon and ask for a little something to eat. The secrets of baking have, until relatively recently, always been passed from mother to daughter. I was young, eight perhaps, when my own mother tied her apron around my waist and told me it was time for me to show her how much of what she taught me I remembered. It was time for me to make my first loaf without help or instruction. No recipes. Just my senses. And I did. It was a square loaf of wheat bread. A little too dense. A little too brown. But we ate it at supper that night, my father, my mother, and I, with butter and salt, rewarmed in the oven. And my mother said to me, "You're now the keeper of bread." It was my right of passage."In the novel Stones for Bread, author Christa Parrish takes the readers into much more than a contemporary story about the art of making bread. She touches those warm places within our hearts that sense more to bread than just what we eat. It becomes part of who we are and provides nourishment to both the heart and soul of those we make it for. It is a piece of ourselves. The story is based around the life of Liesl McNamara, owner and baker at Wild Rise, a bake house in Vermont. Her's is a story of the generations of bread bakers beginning with her grandmother and mother til finally resting within herself. The story winds its way into Liesl's tragic childhood and culminates with her being entered in a reality show called Baked Off by one of her employees. Woven in between are the mouth-watering recipes of 11 Artisan Bread that you will find takes time to make just perfect but well worth the effort. This is simply a story to be experienced and enjoyed from cover to cover and trust me, you'll never look at a loaf of bread the same again. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.I received Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.

  • extraordinary ordinary whimsy
    2019-03-26 02:28

    Scoring is the act of cutting grooves into dough before it bakes and becomes bread. Liesl's scars run as deep as the scored dough she makes and bakes; therefore, Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish is at times as heavy as it's name implies. Yet it is a fantastic read. A love letter to bread written in a way that makes you want to slow down and taste the words. Allowing them to almost melt on your tongue."What is so mystical about bread that superstitions follow from the moment man conceived it to this very day? The wheat, from the ground. The yeast, from the air. The dough, alive, breathing, growing, giving itself up for the people. The gods find it acceptable, the priests use it in their rituals, the magicians want to harness its power. And yet what goes into bread is common, vulgar even, available to anyone who will pick and grind and create fire to bake.Sacred and profane."It's also her rocky journey into forgiveness and learning to trust God. The faith aspect is like an ocean current moving organically through the story as it builds force and momentum."What is it about this stuff? All of it. The flour, the dough, the loaves. It's like there are magnets in it, and in me. I have to touch it."I know. When my hands are in dough, something deep and primordial can hear the voice of God, calling me forth from the earth. It is very good. Grain from the ground, made dust. Man from the dust. The kneading reconnects both, bringing me back to Eden in a way I've never encountered at any church service."It's like it's -""Spiritual," I say."It's one of those books I could read three times and still find new things to ponder."This is what Pastor Ryan means when he preaches on community, all of us with pieces missing, all of us starfish, but instead of regenerating our amputated parts we've replaced them with one another."Liesl is like focaccia, tough but worth it. Her story like a cinnamon bun, is sticky but good. This particular passage stuck with me."Do everything as if unto the Lord. Offer up everything as if for the Lord, including jars of olives to the food pantry or leftover loaves of bread. Years later, that's finally how I make sense of it, where it settles out for me. If Jesus knocks on my door today, will I rummage through my home and give him the food I don't like, the outgrown jackets with stains and a broken zipper, the dirty Crock-Pot in the basement, the one with the chipped lid and mice nesting inside I've yet to find time to toss into the Salvation Army's dumpster?"Review/thoughts orginally appeared on Tales of Whimsy.com on April 28, 2014.

  • Violet
    2019-03-28 22:31

    Running her own bakeshop, the Wild Rise, will finally fill the void in 30-something Liesel McNamara’s life—won’t it? She sure has wagered all her dough on it—and the array of artisan sourdough starters, some as old as her history itself. An artisan bakery in Billingston, Vermont is the setting for Christa Parrish’s latest novel, Stones for Bread. It is a story of a woman seeking to find herself after an adolescent tragedy. A chance to compete on the Good Food Network for $10,000 (enough for Paris!), the revelation of a life-changing secret, and the possibility of the love of a good man are all plot elements that pulled me through this fabulous book way too fast. The characters were a highlight for me. Besides Liesel there is single father Seamus and his five-year-old daughter Cecilia, Xavier—Liesel’s 71-year-old head baker, Tee—the Ukrainian cook, and lots of others. All are richly drawn, believable and sympathetic. Parrish’s handling of the tiny-bit-spoiled five-year-old Cecilia was, I felt, especially well done.Parrish weaves her magic in many ways. The story is told solely through Liesel’s eyes. Each chapter begins with a scene from her history, helping us piece together why she is the way the she is. And how is that? Here she sees herself in contrast to co-worker Gretchen: “Perhaps it’s who she is, relaxed and round and fizzy. I have too many angles to get close” – Kindle Location 230. Parrish also includes lots of information about bread, its lore, its place in history and religion, and actual recipes from Liesel’s notebook, complete with her own notations of how to make it right (bread geek that she is). I’m tempted to try some of these—only using my bread machine (please don’t tell her though). A Christian worldview foundations and subtly pervades the book throughout. Many wonderful allusions to the bread imagery in the Bible make it all the richer. The writing is wonderful too. Here are two bits I highlighted:“…Oma’s (hair) with streaks of soot gray where her youth has burned away” K.L. 333.“Seamus looks smaller. His size hasn’t changed, but the layer of pride we all have beneath our skin, the one reminding us how well we care for our own, that has lost some of its girth” K.L. 909. Stones for Bread is a perfect read for a cold winter night by the fire, or consume it as a side with soup and dark pumpernickel. I received Stones for Bread as a gift from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for the purpose of writing a review.

  • Barb Terpstra
    2019-04-07 05:33

    What I will remember most about this book is how the descriptions of bread making was woven into the story as a whole. In fact, I think I am intrigued enough with the sourdough recipes to try making my own sourdough starter. There is a particular recipe for a chocolate sourdough bread, with actual pieces of dark chocolate baked into it, that is especially appealing.Liesl owns her own bakery.It seems as though bread and the making of it are an essential part of her nature. Her feelings of family, and grief (after losing her mother tragically at an early age), are all tied into her bread making. She shares her bread with customers and churches more easily than she shares herself. Liesel loves the making of bread and it is a sort of therapy, as well as escape for her life.Liesl's bakery "Wild Rise" (a reference to sourdough starter) becomes a family place for a variety of societal misfits that come to work for her. She reluctantly loves each of them, and particularly a little girl named Cecilia.Liesl's grandmother explains to her about sourdough, and how you must feed it with flour and water until it can be made into bread "again and again,every day so the children have brot. Always something is in this pot, waiting to eat". When Liesl says that she didn't know "bread was so hungry all the time", Oma says "We are all hungry all the time. Every living thing." And isn't that the truth. Adding to the family theme, some of Liesel's sourdough starter has been fed through the generations, coming over from the old country with her grandmother.There is a lot of history about bread and it's role in the lives of the rich and poor woven throughout the book. Which brings us to another underlying theme of the story, which is that Jesus is the bread of life. If you are a not a Christian, don't let this scare you off, because this theme is just part of who the characters are,and I feel it is really understated. In other words, I don't feel preached at, it's just a part of the character's stories that comes up now and again.I do like a thought Liesl has on community:"all of us with pieces missing, all of us starfish, but instead of regenerating our amputated parts we've replaced them with one another".I borrowed this book from the library on my kindle, but may be tempted to purchase the book itself for the recipes.

  • Teri-K
    2019-03-22 23:49

    I've been a Christian for over 40 years, and it's part of who I am. I've been baking bread even longer, and it's part of how I see myself, too. So, often, when I read books about either I find them not really convincing or too facile. They disappoint me because the details aren't right, the timing's off and they don't feel "real". This book worked for me, as Christian fiction and as the story of a baker of bread. I don't know if the author actually bakes or if she just did her research, but either way this book felt right to me. There are a couple of potential triggers - (view spoiler)[ The MC's mother was manic-depressive and killed herself when the MC was 12. She found her mother's body. (hide spoiler)]. I also grew up with bi-polar people, as it runs in my family. So I often find those descriptions, if not wrong, at least too limited. In the end I felt the author did a good job showing the reality, and love, of a mother suffering from this disease. And the long, difficult process that grieving can become.The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. (view spoiler)[ The MC has serious issues with emotions and relationships. I'm afraid the book gives the impression that selling her business and moving across country to marry a man guarantees her a HEA. I foresee lots more misunderstanding, arguments, and heartache. Isn't that how life really works? (hide spoiler)] But I may have become cynical, and it's only a small part of quite a stunning story. I would recommend this to my reading group.

  • Anna
    2019-04-09 00:36

    Liesl, a successful owner of a bakery, has never quite reconciled herself with her mother having committed suicide when she was but a girl. For generations the gift of baking bread has been passed from mother to daughter. Liesl took this gift and immersed herself in the daily chore of making and perfecting the perfect loaf. But in her passion for bread she has isolated herself from genuine connection with those around her. While Liesl's father sought and found refuge in God and church fellowship, Liesl has been unable to forgive God, nor her mother. She feels abandoned by both. She shares herself the best she can with her fellow baker, Xavier. They are joined by Xavier's grandson, Jude, who's also seeking acceptance and who has a passion for baking bread. But it's when a man, Seamus, and his young daughter, Cecelia, enter her life that she begins to open up the part of her soul she has shut off from the world. As Liesl listens for the voice of God, she finds understanding of what is truly important in life.I enjoyed the history and meaning of bread, and the love baked into each loaf.

  • Shelly Ann
    2019-03-28 21:54

    When you are a person who runs your own life. You don't really payattention to those around you. Until they need you. This book has allotof good things going on, and tells us that eventually life changes andnot on purpose! Things just happen! Death, adoptions, finding a family, loosing a friend. Love. Most of all love! Never give up on love whenits there. Good book!

  • Raelee Carpenter
    2019-04-18 05:31

    Christa Parrish's books are proving a strange phenomenon for me. While I read, I always think of this or that I didn't like about it. When I get to the end, however, I realize everything is as it should be.

  • Kathleen E.
    2019-04-08 00:36

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish, ©2013Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment,Stones for Bread provides a feast for thesenses from award-winning authorChrista Parrish.Oma takes me on her lap and tells me of Germany, good Lutheran tales because my father is Irish and Catholic and she believes I learn nothing of the things I should.Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing.Whose bread I eat, His song I sing.--Stones for Bread, 13Liesl McNamara. My maiden name is Irish too.Hop on into this book and you will savor it! Like you are there hanging onto every thought, every motion. And the aroma of fresh baked bread ~ there on each and every page. I am the same age as Xavier.We pull loaves from the oven, Xavier shoveling them onto the peel, me catching them in the baskets and setting them on the racks. The air snaps with cooling crust, a symphony of dried twigs crunching beneath my feet, of cracking knuckles, of Rice Crispies. I'm home within that sound. ... Mastering formulas, not recipes, in the quest for the perfect loaf.--Ibid., 15-16Liesl's Orange Chai Boule ~an excellent introduction to cold fermentation~--Ibid., 17Everywhere I go, magic! Cold fermentation! I am for that. My trying to get just the right temp on my wrist still my bread loaf has a yeasty smell ~ and... you could bounce it off the counter and it wouldn't break open ~ too thick a crust. I have so much to learn and may finally... begin baking bread again! Exact directions on how to bake Liesl's bread is included on pages 18 and 19. I am in bliss!Cecelia turns her face to me. It shines with hopefulness, and that part of me that I don't want to exist, the one that needs people, the one that comes awake on these Sundays, drinks in her light. And it says to me. More."Sure," I say. "Why not?"--Ibid., 31"My mother died when I was young," I tell her. "It still hurts not to have her around."--Ibid., 33We meet Cecelia and she says, "Someone gave me a bag to use," holding up a small Ziploc she's filled with pellets. "Take some too, Liesl."I do, offering the mound to the goat on its back legs right there next to me. I feel its tongue, rough and slick. But my eyes are on Seamus, kneeling behind his daughter, their heads so close they're touching as he holds his hand beneath hers to catch any wayward feed. She pulls her arm back as soon as she's nuzzled, wiping the saliva on her shorts. He kisses her cheek, and she wipes it away before patting his unruly beard. Their silence ritual. Seamus raises his equally wild brows and then tilts his chin into her neck, rubbing it back and forth as she laughs with her entire six-year-old body. And the goat at the fence continues to lick between my fingers, cleaning away every crumb of the old Seamus, the inconsiderate, sloppy, truck-driving oaf who tracked dirt through my bakehouse, leaving only the Seamus who spins wool better than Athena herself and who loves his little girl with abandon.--Ibid., 37-38I have been waiting to meet Cecelia again since she first appeared at the bakery with her kindergarten class to poke and prod dough all-by-herself. I am surprised to hear of the introspection about Seamus. I had grown accustomed to her schedule ~*~ baking, sleeping, baking again. Somehow I knew Cecelia was important to this story from her first mention.Yes, the irony of all ironies; the hearty, dark bread once considered fit only for thieves and livestock is now some of the most prized of all.--Ibid., 56-57I love the descriptiveness! ~ And then back to Cecelia. You're going to think that little girl is my favorite (she is!).We wore dull clothes in dull colors, moths not butterflies.--Ibid., 58"Well, then maybe the one there, with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.""The chocolate, Daddy. It's right there. And there's only one left."There's always one left. I keep it aside, just for her, each time I make it.--Ibid., 59Another deep breath. A thumbprint of warmth blooms in the cavern beneath my breastbone, a penny on the sidewalk in the sun. The Comforter. The sensation fills my chest and dribbles down my limbs, and a perfect peace comes over me for a moment.--Ibid., 70I can so identify with this. Me, too. It is like God saying, "I see you, Kathleen." And, of course, I always pick it up, with a smile on my face.The Hebrews have freedom. Instead, they want food, their bellies filled with the early comfort they know. And God, the heavenly Comforter, sends bread of a different kind.What is it?They call it manna. And it's given to the wandering children of Israel, but not only for them. For us. For all who brush away the veil and will one day lay eyes on the true manna, a child they do not yet know will be born in Beth-lehem, the house of bread.--Ibid., 72Micah 5:2, "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,Too little to be among the clans of Judah,From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.His goings forth are from long ago,From the days of eternity."Beautiful, beautiful story! I identify with it in innumerable ways! My German grandfather owned a bakery. He died before I was born. He began when he was 15 with the hops from the brewery/bar he was working at. My earliest memory of the bakery is sitting on a water radiator (no snow on the ground) between two stairwells looking out at the old fire station building across the street that was a tall two-story narrow building then. I moved to that city when I was in my beginning thirties and would pass by the building on my way to work; the bakery now a beauty shop. Sweet memories. There is still a fire station across the street, but a modern one now. And my father was an Irish Catholic; marrying my half-Norwegian/half-German mother. She died when I was five, just before my sixth birthday, and I sadly have no memory of her. The trauma of my loss must have wiped it away. Her mother came with her parents and siblings from Norway when she sixteen. Meeting and marrying my German grandfather, not much could be said when my 100% Irish Daddy came on the scene. He was a musician ~ beautifully on a grand piano he stopped playing when my mother died. Favorites ~ Clair de Lune, especially, and Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? They had been to the Mardi Gras shortly before she died following surgery. He went into the Commerce Bank to extend a loan he had on his snazzy automobile. My mother was the teller he chose. On Valentine's Day it was acceptable for a young debutante business college grad to send a valentine. Fancy, she has his address from his bank record. And my mother's name? Cecilia.♪♫•*Does¨*your•.mother¸¸♥ know ♫¸.•*you're¨*out,•♫Cecilia? ♪ •Does♥•.she¸♪¸.•know♥♫•.that¸•♪♫I'm ♫♪about¸.•*toི♥ྀstealღ •ya'?ღ •♫♪Christa interweaves Liesl's story remembering the past and moving on in the future in a fine seam at the bottom of the loaf. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of the bakehouse staff and their unspoken love for each other that came through so vividly ~ being on time, doing what they know to do, being factual with each other, caring. I was totally emerged in the story, possibly because of my generational contact. There is more than bread making as Liesl comes to trusting ~ in her Lord and those He sends her at just the right time.***Thank you to Litfuse Publishing Group for sending me a copy of Christa Parrish's novel, Stones for Bread, for this blog tour. This review is written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

  • Stacy M. Patton
    2019-03-24 22:35

    This book won the Christy Award in 2014 in the contemporary category and that is what brought me to read this book. This was my first Christa Parrish book and I found her writing style to be very unique. The story itself was very emotionally stirring and I became emotionally attached to Liesl, the main character who owns her own bakery called Wild Rise bake house. I love the concept of the book. I loved all the main characters. The reason I didn't rate it higher was because when her love interest, Seamus, comes on to the scene, I didn't find him to be very appealing (the way his character was written). He kind of appears to be a big, sloppy goof. And she doesn't seem to have an attraction to him. I wasn't sure for a big part of the book if Liesl was just being nice to him because she felt sorry for him and genuinely loved his daughter, who was a real sweetheart, or if she really liked him for him. It kind of seemed like the way he was described at first that he may not be a very good catch. Again, as a result of his early description (described by Liesl), I didn't think he could or would become her love interest. Until he did! Then I was kind of confused, thinking, "did I miss something?" Because the way Liesl described him earlier, it didn't seem like she had any interest in him. But after I got past that, I thought Seamus was sweet and I was rooting for them. Although their romance was kind of odd. On the positive side, it was an interesting book and kept my attention (minus all the history on bread that I found boring and skipped). I now have a new appreciation for bread and good quality bread! The whole time I was reading it, I wanted to eat her bread!

  • The Reading Panda
    2019-04-02 23:34

    Even though there were a number of elements that I felt were weak in the story, the reason why I ultimately enjoyed it was because Liesl is sweet and kind. You find out early on that her mother took her own life. This is extremely traumatic. I cannot imagine the scars and demons that would cause. The trauma causes her to be reclusive, aloof, extremely introverted. Underneath it all, however, Liesl has a heart of gold. She cares for the needy, and she is there for the people she loves. The secondary characters were also fully fleshed out. Seamus is the gentle giant. He's an amazing father, and he knows how to pursue Liesl without scaring her away, not a small feat. Cecelia is the most adorable child I have encountered in fiction. She is talkative and sweet and manages to hold Liesl's heart. I find that authors usually put the kids on the sidelines when writing romances, so I appreciated that Cecialia was truly present in the story. What retracted from the story was how painful it is. My heart broke for Liesl through it all. Suicide is something none of us should have to endure. At times I had to push myself to pick up the book and continue reading until the end. Liesl's emotional distance did not help the matter. She was cold to Seamus and frequently gave mixed messages. No one but Seamus would have the patience to wait for Liesl. Bless him. All in all, I enjoyed the book. You get a new found appreciation for bread by the end of it. This is not my cup of tea, but I understand how others might love it.

  • Nancy DeValve
    2019-04-06 22:50

    This book is multi-layered and in some ways quite complex. In other ways it's beautifully straightforward and ordinary in a homey sort of way. Leisl runs a bakery/cafe. But as the story unfolds, we learn about her painful childhood and how it affects her present-day relationships. We learn more about each person who works in the bakery. I love that none of the characters are typical romance-fiction characters with their beautiful looks and steamy romances. They are ordinary: grouchy, overweight, slow with words, teasing, flirting, hard-working, and doubtful about their abilities or rights to love. Even the little girl chews on her braid and hides behind her dad. They are such real people whose approach to life is just ordinary and normal. That is one facet of the book. Woven into the story is the history of bread and its spiritual significance. And the third facet are bread recipes (which I skipped since I probably am not going to have a sourdough starter and make bread that way). I really enjoyed this book.

  • Renee Ramos
    2019-04-16 03:29

    Characters were refreshingly real - the variety of people from difference places, families and backgrounds was nice. The romance was more real than is usual for this genre (a male love interest who is messy, noisy and not 100% handsome), and that was also refreshing. The main characters journey from self-protecting to taking a risk and changing her life to include others was interesting, but the pace was slower than I would have liked. All in all a good book, especially for those who like gentle-paced, non-cliché Christian fiction.

  • Fermentum
    2019-04-10 23:33

    I guess this book could be considered a "Christian" book. There's an awful lot of spiritual spirituality and religious overtones. it's got some good recipes too.I love bread. all kinds. But i don't have the patience to make it... i have tried. The recipes look interesting.Enjoyed the history of bread and yeast.

  • Marilyn
    2019-03-23 02:56

    This book comes with a warning - you will be tempted to create bread of your own or at least bake something that will infuse the air with the smell of bread baking. You will also come away with interesting tidbits about the history of bread. Would make a great book club read!

  • Patty
    2019-03-24 22:53

    Another book that it really took a while to get into, but in the end glad I finished it. Would probably honestly give it 3 1/2 stars, certainly not an all time favorite, but glad I tried a new author out.

  • Judith Skehan
    2019-04-21 23:31

    An interesting book which had a lot of spiritual/religious overtones. Would I read another one of her books? Probably not! Just not my cup of tea! The recipes looked good though.

  • Kristel
    2019-04-20 21:33

    Great story. Sweet and redemptive.

  • Bethany
    2019-03-23 22:42

    Stones for Bread was the first book by Christa Parrish that I've read, so going into it, I wasn't sure what the writing style would be like, or if I'd like it. However being that it was about a baker, I thought I'd enjoy reading it as I love to bake, though I must confess I bake much simpler recipes than main character, Liesl does in the book. But it did remind me that baking really is an art, which I'd never really actually thought about before, and it can be such a calming activity, as we see in the story.Though Stone for Bread wasn't a favorite, I certainly did enjoy reading it and found it to be a very unique book, and unlike any other I've read - both in writing style and story line. Christa Parrish certainly has her own unique writing style, and it was the first time to read a book with such a emotional writing style and story line. It added a nice touch to the story and was very unique and interesting to be able to read-one I won't forget soon as the characters stay with me even after reading the last word of the story.One thing I loved about this book was all the various artisan bread recipes that were included in the story, when Liesl would bake them. I thought that was really cool and that it would be so fun to bake the breads that Liesl did in the book.While I did enjoy this book, there were a few tiny details that I found to be a bit of a downer for me. One is that in the story, two or three times a character would be about to say a "word" and the author would cut them off a couple letters before the word was completely spelled, and while the words weren't completed, you have enough to get the idea of the word, and it was just something I'd have preferred to be left out. While the words weren't inappropriate by any means, and definitely moderate, I just prefer not to have them pop up in a story. Like I said, they weren't terribly bad words, just ones I don't want cluttering my mind with, however it was by no means a reason to put the book down.Another downer for me was how the whole story is spent with the main character not knowing Christ or having a personal relationship with Christ. Sadly, while this book is considered a Christian novel, there wasn't much Christian influence, since the character doesn't become a Christian until the very end of the book. One way this was obvious to me was how big bread was to Liesl. When I started this book I had the idea that this book would involve a lot of bread, but I didn't expect it to be literally about bread the whole time. Bread is so big to Liesl and a foundation for the story, it's her heritage, family and life since she owns a bakery that fills her days. When she is upset or troubled she makes bread as a way of releasing stress, and I found it often would take the place that Christ should have filled, since she took bread to that level of importance in her life. I felt like often times she would release her stress or find comfort in making bread instead of in Christ, and it was an opportunity for her to strengthen her faith in Christ (as it was growing throughout the story bit by bit) that was missed since she went to bread instead.Despite these two downers, I did enjoy this book and found it to be a great story on redemption as the main character goes through a lot of different things in the story that make her a stronger person in the end. The writing style was so personal and emotional that you get attached to the characters, and I loved being able to connect with the characters and share their pain. While this book wasn't a favorite, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone who loves to bake!NOTE :: I received a free copy of this book for the purposes of reading it and writing a review on my blog. I was not paid in any way to write this review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are honest and unbiased.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-04 01:27

    Stones For Bread is a poignant story that follows the generational legacy of bread making in Liesl McNamara's family that began with her grandmother, passed down to her mother, then on to her. It is a story that interweaves the fond childhood memories of baking bread with her grandmother and mother, with the tragic moments that occur in her life, and through it all bread has been the bonding element in Liesl's life. Now as an adult Liesl's world consists of everything bread as the owner/baker of Wild Rise, a bake house in Vermont. But Liesl's uncomplicated solitary life is about to change when one of her assistants enters Liesl in the reality show, Bake Off; and she unexpectedly meets Seamus, a divorced man and his six year old daughter Cecelia. As her business grows from the publicity of being on the reality show, Liesl believes that she has gotten everything she has ever wanted, until a mysterious woman calls claiming to be her half-sister, revealing a devastating family secret that shatters Liesl's world, leaving her to question everything about her life and family.Author Christa Parrish weaves a wonderful tale written in the first person narrative that follows Liesl McNamara's emotional personal journey of discovering the meaning of life and love, alternating between the present and her childhood past, and lovingly interwoven with the generational legacy of baking bread.While the main focus of the story revolves around Liesl's personal journey, I loved how the author seamlessly interwove her story with the fascinating history of the art of breading making. It is a wonderful story of life, family, and love all revolving around the bond that is created from the art of bread making, that provides nourishment for our heart and soul. As an added bonus, the author includes delectable recipes that had my mouth watering and desiring some freshly made warm Artisan bread with strawberry jam.You can't help but get drawn into Liesl's life, she is a complicated woman with a past that includes happy and tragic memories, who lives a solitary and uncomplicated life revolving around baking bread, until an unexpected meeting with a divorced man and his daughter shakes up her world, coupled with learning to accept the growing notoriety of her bake shop due to the appearance on the reality show, that will notably change and reshape Liesl's world. I really enjoyed following Liesl on her personal journey of self discovery, it was inspiring and emotional to see how her story unfolds in a way that she is finally able to let go of the past, grow, open up and embrace life and relationships.Stones For Bread is a warmhearted and touching story that will pull at your heartstrings, while providing a fascinating and soul nourishing lesson on the art of bread making.Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Litfuse Publicity.http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot...

  • Victor Gentile
    2019-04-09 23:43

    Christa Parrish in her new book “Stones For Bread” published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Liesl McNamara.From the back cover: 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 Liesl’s 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.Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment, Stones for Bread provides a feast for the senses from award-winning author Christa Parrish.Liesl bakes bread for a living. Bread is a symbol for life. However Liesl really doesn’t have much of a life. then people invade her life. First there is little Cecelia. Then it turns out her father is the man who delivers flour to the bakery. Liesl’s bakery is featured on T.V. prompting her half-sister to contact her. Other people give us life, make us change, give us love. This is a book about what is important in life: family, faith and forgiveness. Ms. Parrish knows how to create characters that live on the page and that we get to know and love. Get ready for an interesting read that will keep you emotionally involved.You can find “Stones For Bread” at a discount at http://www.deepershopping.com/item/pa...If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to www.kingdomhighlights.org where they are available On Demand.To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station www.kingdomairwaves.orgDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Jalynn Patterson
    2019-04-11 21:53

    About the Book:What do you do when the gift you thought was bread turns out to be stones?Liesl McNamara’s Wild Rise is not only a popular bakehouse and café in Vermont, it’s an extension of herself. Liesl is an artisan bread maker, like her mother and grandmother before her. Even though she lost her mother to suicide when she was eleven, she keeps this maternal bond alive as she bakes.Liesl prides herself on living an uncomplicated, unattached life. But that changes when Seamus walks through the door of Wild Rise, lugging the large bags of whole wheat flour from the local food co-op. He and his daughter Cecelia have recently moved to the country seeking simplicity. Despite her best effort, Liesl becomes attracted to this teddy bear of a man who laughs easily and eats strange sandwich concoctions—on her bread, much to her dismay.Her simple life is further complicated when a popular cooking show features her bakery. The publicity increases her business and brings several offers from larger businesses, all of which she turns down. But it also brings a completely unexpected phone call, one from a woman claiming to be her half-sister.Liesl’s sense of identity dissolves as everything about her relationship with her mother—and the bread that held them together—comes into question. Has she been given stones rather than bread? And how can she ever take these crumbs and make them whole again?About the Author: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.My Review: Stones For Bread, is a mixture of nice, tasty treats are rolled into one. Leisl McNamara enjoys a life of peaceful solitude as she runs Wild Rise, the town bakery, that just happens to be the best in town. Her mother and grandmother passed down the art of bread baking to Leisl and it shows everyday as the townspeople flock to her bakery daily. Suddenly things start to change for this artisan and she isn't so sure she is willing and ready for the change. Stones For Bread, has several things in the writing that I have not really seen from other authors. The author has carefully placed a very quirky fiction novel along with in site&history behind bread making along with some recipes thrown in for good measure. Even though this a very challenging read, I enjoyed its down to earth goodness.This book is a sure fire hit!**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Litfuse Publicity.