There are multiple reasons I loved this book, but probably the most dominant being that the author was just so REAL.
I think what I appreciated most about this book was the author's ability to be raw. She speaks about her own personal insecurities and struggles, while sharing her passion for life. Cooking. I wasn't sure what to expect when I requested this book from Booksneeze. Looking at the other reviews, I knew it wasn't a cookbook, but it sort of is to some degree. Shauna shares her favorite recipes adapted from popular chefs and cook books, which she has critiqued, experimented with, and made her own.
I was a little apprehensive at first to try some of the recipes Shauna has shared. I am not an experienced cook by any means and the thought of making some of these dishes was quite daunting. I actually have just begun to enjoy cooking after 10+ years of preparing food. But Shauna has this ability to make it look so easy. She includes her favorite recipes of Mango Chicken Curry over rice and Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce...among many other recipes.
But much more than just sharing recipes, Shauna shares her life. She and her husband open their home to share their lives and food in a way to connect with friends, family and everyone they know.
I thought this book was very well written in more ways than one, but I did find one key element missing. Her faith. Shauna mentions prayer every now and again, but at best it is usually a plea for help or longing for a request to be fulfilled. What the author failed to share was a personal relationship with God. Prayers that offer praise and thanksgiving, instead of just requests. At one point in the book, Shauna shares a particularly traumatic event that included her 10 day old son. She shares her prayers to ask God to heal her son...basically a mantra of "please heal my baby" over and over again, and how her good friend told her to pray to Mary because Mary is the Blessed Mother. Upon her exit of the hospital, she passed a statue of Mary and nodded her thanks to the statue for her son's healing.
Of course the name of the book "Bread and Wine" should give a little insight into the contents of the book, but I really did not expect so much reference to alcohol. I suspected that the title had more to do with The Last Supper or something along those lines, but that was not the case. My husband and I are born again Christians and we personally abstain from drinking alcohol.
This being said, I still feel that there were many positive elements in this book and I rate it as 3.5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”