A Review: "Bread and Wine" by Shauna Niequist

"Bread and Wine:  A Love Letter to Life Around the Table" by Shauna Niequist is a collection of essays about life, food, hospitality, and experiencing those sacred moments that can only be found around a table. The book includes not only recipes to try, but there are discussion questions at the end for a book club or a cooking club. She also includes tips for hosting a dinner party, as well as ideas for easy weeknight meals that can be thrown together quickly.

I appreciated Niequist's heart that celebrates the union of food and the hearts of people, creating a unique fellowship around a table. Faith themes run strong through this book, especially as she dives into how gathering around a shared meal creates a special sense of community. "And I believe that Jesus asked for us to remember him during the breaking of bread and the drinking of the wine every time, every meal, every day--no matter where we are, who we are, what we've done" (p. 252).

She shares candidly about her life, her insecurities, her fears when her newborn son was ill, her struggles with having children. Her writing style and vulnerability with sharing make this book an all-around winner. I started by slowly digesting two or three essays at a time, but that quickly sped up to devouring the entire book; it's really just that good.

"The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a word that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel. If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health" (p. 258).

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

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