The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

by Viola Shipman

Overview: Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life—including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Deanna Boe (07/16/18): I couldn’t resist this book simply because of the title. It left me wondering if it would be anything like Joanne Fluke’s writing and would it also include recipes. Yes, to the recipes but no to it being a murder mystery. This recipe box is filled with treasured family recipes. It concerns the young lady, Samantha, of the 4th generation who owns one of these recipe boxes. “Sam” left Michigan and her family’s business (raising all kinds of fruit trees and baking delicious pies to sell) to go to a baking college in New York City and become a chef in “The Big Apple.” How ironic is that? Unfortunately, as we all know, not everything is as wonderful as it is cracked up to be. After getting into a fight with a “famous” but “really horrible chef” who cooked for TV, Sam quit. Now what? What else was there to do but return to the comfort of home. You know the out come immediately when she does this, but it doesn’t take away from the “easy-to-read” book and the romantic outcome.
Rating: ***

Martha Lawton (03/13/18): The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a very special book. So special that I would consider it a 5 star read (something I do rarely). The book highlights what is truly important in life; love and family. Viola Shipman has written a book that is universal in its message.

The main character, Sam was trying to find herself and how she fit in life. She comes home to her family orchid after losing a job. Her connections with her mother and grandmother are shared when they bake together and discuss life while baking. Stories unfold from the different recipes from the Recipe Box (full of family recipes from the past). Each recipe brings warmth and love and stories that help illuminate the family, love, life and the strength of that.

I loved the book. Viola Shipman’s book is one I wholeheartedly suggest as a read for everyone. Bakers will love the old family recipes that are shared. Readers will connect with the characters as they show how they love and laugh. The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a fantastic read.


Rating: *****

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