The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sweet, But Not Too Sweet

Friendship Bread by Darien Gee sat around by my bed for a few weeks before I read it. On the one hand, it looked like a nice, comforting read on a subject I find fascinating: food bringing a sense of community and healing to a group of people. On the other hand, it seemed dangerously easy for this very topic to fall into the twee, saccharine mush that I abhor. Luckily, it was brilliant and I loved it!

If I were to bring a critical eye to the book, there was one minor character who seemed hopelessly unreal and was a tad annoying. There were also a few moments, especially in the last couple of chapters, that tipped a little too close to the World of Twee for my liking, and it was only after I finished the book that it occurred to me that all the male characters who swear say "heck" as in "damn them to heck", and the female ones never swear. I have all sorts of problems with this but since I didn't notice it while I was reading the book it doesn't feel like a terribly big deal.

I'm always excited to come across a book like this because it fits into a category that I think there is a real desire for: something intelligent readers can enjoy when they don't feel like plowing through a literary tome, but isn't so sappy that they get annoyed with it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of pap out there as well as a lot of Serious Literature that is hard work to read and often depressing. I know I often want something between these two camps and it isn't always easy to find.

A final tip: do not read this if you are on a diet because you will be driven insane with all the descriptions of sweet, steaming loaves of Amish Friendship bread that fill the house with their delicious aroma...

1 comment:

  1. Amish Friendship bread, you say? Yum.

    Thanks for leaving a comment at my house this morning! I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, and your visit made me want to unhiatusify. (Actually, I'm keeping a banal vegetable-growing blog instead of my actual blog blog, in hope of winning a $1000 Bunnings voucher - which is to say, have sold my soul for fertilizer. Am here (just in case you care to know of my adventures with cauliflowers):

    Looking forward to wading through your booklove here.