Moment of truth- I saw several reviews of Bread and Wine and thought "Meh. Not for me." My sister raved about it and recommended I try it and I still thought "Boring. Not for me". Why would I want to read what essentially seemed like a cookbook with thoughts sprinkled in? Boy, was I wrong.
This is the first Shauna Niequist book I have read and I truly enjoyed every part of it. Let's just start with the cover. Doesn't that look so cozy and inviting?
It gets even better on the inside. Each page paints a beautiful picture of what it means to share a meal with family or friends. Shauna reminds us of how meals are not just about eating warm bread or a hearty soup. Meals are an opportunity to gather those we care about around a table to share our lives. She describes the many life events that have been shared around her table: lost pregnancies, death of a parent, joy of receiving a long awaited child, new opportunities, grief and joy. The descriptions of Shauna's feelings toward her mother and the honoring of her friend Nathan stood out to me of wonderful examples of how closely linked food and love can be. There are (delicious looking) recipes spread throughout the book, but it primarily storytelling on the rituals and hospitality surrounding shared meals.
I was particularly struck by Shauna's point that offering our homes and a meal in hospitality are so much more important than the "perfect" event. Sometimes, our desire to impress (or avoid embarrassment) prevent us from extending ourselves to people. This was a lovely reminder that personal connections are vastly more important that creating a Pinterest worthy tabletop.
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.”