Dorothy Caldwell Minor, aka The Book Whisperer, discovers in U.S.A. Today bestselling author Viola Shipman’s The Recipe Box a delightful book with recipes tied to the story.
A little about Dorothy:
“I am an avid reader and also enjoy Indie and foreign movies. I retired from teaching English at Tulsa Community College after teaching as an adjunct first and then twenty-four years as a full-time faculty member. I was also involved in faculty development, planning and facilitating workshops for colleagues. I like technology and using technology to enhance learning. As an adjunct, I started a book club on campus, and it is still going strong thirty-one years later! I also belong to two other book clubs.I’ve included a picture from a Chautauqua Tea at TCC, complete with hat and brooch! I enjoy collecting vintage rhinestone brooches.”
Dorothy’s book club, Circle of Readers:
“We meet twice monthly. The first of the month, we all read a book and discuss it; the second time we meet, we discuss other books we’ve read. We enjoy inviting authors to join us! We have 20 members, and we are located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We enjoy reading fiction, historical fiction, memoir, nonfiction, YA.”
Dorothy’s review of The Recipe Box:
For those looking for a delightful book with recipes tied to the story, try The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman, aka Wade Rouse. Wade Rouse writes under the pen name Viola Shipman to honor his maternal grandmother. Viola Shipman nurtured a love of reading in Wade from a young age. When he rediscovered Viola’s old recipe box, he used the recipes to write a story about a young girl growing up on an orchard and pie shop in MI: The Recipe Box.
Samantha, Sam, Mullins has always felt she was destined for life in the wider world than the orchard and pie shop run by her grandparents and parents. She learns to make the recipes her grandmother favors, those handed down from generations before. Sam does love to cook, and the Peach-Blueberry Slab pie is one of her favorites, made with all fresh fruit.
Still, Sam chafes under the restrictions of small-town life and longs for something more. She goes to culinary school where she excels and gets a job at a prestigious bakery in NYC, her dream come true. Or is it? Chef Dimples, the owner and TV baking star is a fraud, and all who work for him know it. However, he is also a tyrant. Sam hopes that working for Chef Dimples will eventually lead her to her own bakery.
The story turns on two incidents at the NYC bakery. First, Sam arrives at work to find the door locked. Trisha, the head pastry chef usually opens the store and begins baking for the early morning rush. When Sam uses her key to open the door, she finds a note from Trisha to Chef Dimples: “Chef, and I use the term loosely, I not only quit, effective immediately, but I wish you nothing but a ring of bad luck for the rest of your so-called career. You are an energy vampire, a soul-sucking vacuum, a soulless human with a Hindenburg-sized ego that will eventually crash and burn.” The note goes on, but readers can see that Trisha is fed up with the fake Chef Dimples who runs roughshod over his employees.
Sam starts to work baking her favorite Peach-Blueberry Slab pie. When Chef Dimples arrives and tastes the pie, he immediately dumps it into the waste bin although Sam knows he really liked the bite he took. He thought the recipe “too country.” At that moment, the second epiphany occurs: Sam also quits Chef Dimple’s employ! She had wanted to go home for her grandmother’s birthday, but she had feared asking for time off. With Trisha’s decision to leave unexpectedly, Sam suddenly finds her own courage.
Sam’s unexpected return home sets a new story in motion. I will allow readers to discover for themselves what unfolds once Sam makes the momentous decision to leave NYC for her grandmother’s birthday. I will not spoil the story, but I will say there is romance that comes full circle, and Sam does find her niche in the world of cooking. Read and enjoy Sam’s story and try some of the recipes as well!