Recently I was given a book by Shauna Niequist called Bread and Wine, a love letter t life around the table. Before I opened the cover I didn’t know much about it other than I was given a copy to review. I like it that way because I don’t want anyone else’s opinion to color my own. The book’s cover is filled with wine glasses and breadsticks and I suppose instinctively I thought it was just a cookbook.
It IS a cookbook but so much more!
Bread and Wine is as much a memoir of moments in Shauna’s life as it is a group of recipes to create wonderful meals from. Through every chapter you realize that meeting at the dinner table is a ritual every family creates in their own unique ways. We’re given a peek into her life only to realize how much alike we all are as we face troubles and joys.
As I read the book I could recall how my family did dinners and how it differed from my best friend Anne’s family. (Anne had 9 brothers and sisters so I suppose that was different right from the start)
Shauna talks about her two boys, health scares and how she’d be perfectly happy if they never grew up. In a totally selfish way, I think every parent has the same wish but knowing deep inside that we’re raising them so they can set off on their own one day. I remember looking at my children when they were little and hoping they’d stay with me forever. Then they turned 16 and I changed my mind. heh
Weaved throughout the book is Shauna’s faith in God, wonderful recipes for food she shares with her friends and her overall attitude to life in the way she’s created a loving family. The book is a collection of essays that show one woman and her journey through life with family and friends. She shares profound joy in nurturing through food. Each story is accompanied by a recipe and there’s always the backdrop of food and wine being food and wine by in a Christian sense it’s so much more to Shauna.
When you read this book, whether you’re curled up on an overstuffed sofa or sitting up in bed, you’ll see vivid images describing the wonderful meals Shauna creates. Bread and Wine should be on your night table or have you already read the book?