Editor's Note: Shauna Niequist is one of my "go-to" authors. When I need someone to remind me of Truth, I pick up one of her books. Each one of the three books she has written hold a special place in my heart. They all seem to have shaped a season of my life in a major way and because of that, I have never met a person who I couldn't suggest one of her books to. She's that type of writer -- the one that can connect with everyone on something.
So I hope that you would pick up a couple of Bread & Wine (or Cold Tangerines or Bittersweet) and after enjoying them for yourself, share them like I love to do! My sisters and I adore Shauna and we gather around the truths that she shares in a genuine way. I quickly pre-ordered copies of this book for them after reading it! It was THAT good! I hope that you enjoy it just as much, if not more than I do.
Sure, Bread & Wine ends almost every chapter with a recipe of something so delicious sounding that my mouth waters. Of course that means that it could be labeled a cookbook, but that's not really the point of this book and it's pretty clear early on as you flip through the pages. Even in the intro Shauna says "this is a collection of essays about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It's about the ways that God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us, and about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two." (page 11) She further explains, "it's not, actually, strictly about food for me. It's about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another's face, listen to one another's stories." (page 13) And I couldn't agree any more!
I am not your average lover of all things culinary. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love food. Who doesn't? Yet, this book found its way into my life and not because I was searching for a cookbook either. But I've found that the only thing better than a cookbook is a book that reminds us of all the reasons that we love to cook and that we love to eat. For these very reasons, Shauna sits down with us around the table and tells us like it is. She tells stories that we fall in love with and she shares necessary Truth that draws us in for more. In the most beautiful way, Shauna leaves us rejuvenated and longing to live life around the table with the ones that we love most. And the crazy part is that there is room for me too. Me, this unlikely and unsuccessful one who only hopes to befriend a kitchen someday. Somehow, someway, I have a seat at the table just like everyone else.