Sunday, February 18, 2024

THE DIVINE PROVERB OF STREUSEL by Sara Brunsvold, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Of all the things our immigrant mothers carried with them to the rollicking hills of middle America, three things withstood the pressures of time and assimilation: faith in One True God, hope for better things, and love of butter . . . May God be your Rock the rest of your days, and butter be your joy."

Having little knowledge about her family roots, Nikki Werner drives miles to discover them after concluding that her faith, her hope, and her love are essentially decimated. Landing on the front stoop of her Uncle Wes' Missouri farmhouse, she seeks refuge within a place that she barely recalls from her childhood, but the memories that she does have are saturated with fondness. A short term escape becomes a summer of restoration, both for an old home place and a young woman's relationships with the people who mean (and could mean) the most . . . for Nikki Werner begins to cook, using time tested techniques from "the divine proverb of streusel".

"You can either look at what you don't have and yearn, or you can look at what you do have and give thanks . . . 'Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Proverbs 15:16'"

This entire story is snugly wrapped in the wisdom of a life well lived, penned by Nikki's grandmother as she passes along her love of cooking and philosophy of life in the form of her recipes. It's one of the most unique books that you will ever read, and possibly one of the most convicting . . . because someone in your life may need help "doing the next thing"; perhaps it's you. And maybe, just maybe we can each accept the challenge "to be the image of God" for someone else. Starting with the stories.

"Stories are the universal heart language. They bring together what is scattered."
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.


BackCover Blurb:
Shaken by her parents' divorce and discouraged by the growing chasm between herself and her serious boyfriend, Nikki Werner seeks solace at her uncle's farm in a small Missouri hamlet. She'll spend the summer there, picking up the pieces of her shattered present so she can plan a better future. But what awaits her at the ancestral farm is a past she barely knows.

Among her late grandmother's belongings, Nikki finds an old notebook filled with handwritten German recipes and wise sayings pulled from the book of Proverbs. With each recipe she makes, she invites locals to the family table to hear their stories about the town's history, her ancestors--and her estranged father.

What started as a cathartic way to connect to her heritage soon becomes the means through which she learns how the women before her endured--with the help of their cooking prowess. Nikki realizes how delicious streusel with a healthy dollop of faith can serve as a guide to heal wounds of the past.

Revell Publishing, January 16, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


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