Cover Image: You Were Always There

You Were Always There

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Member Reviews

If you like Brene Brown, and the like, you'll love this. A warm and comforting title to see you through the darker days and remind you that the sun will always return.

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I didn't realize that his book was very heavily Christian, and most all advice and stories here link back to God or Jesus in some way. While the summary briefly mentions "faith", it feels like it should more clearly state this. Based on the summary, I figured I'd enjoy this quite a bit, but it was too religious for my tastes, unfortunately.

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I thought I would have liked this because it was a book and cookbook together. I really liked the cover. Thought it had potential But it got too religious for me right in the beginning. To each their own but I just felt it was a bit overwhelming in my opinion.

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This book is a memoir, well-written and enjoyable for the most part, but surely not what I was expecting at all. Most of the essays were a good read but I felt as though the overall theme was a little more religious than I was expecting. The recipes were nice and I might even try a few of them. The stories were transparent and quite heartfelt so I appreciated that.

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3.5 stars, rounded up.

Danielle Kartes writes a very transparent, real memoir about the struggles she has experienced in life, as well as the triumphs and lessons she has learned through those struggles. From the failure and loss of her restaurant to marriage issues, bankruptcy and health crises, Kartes bares her soul to the reader and helps everyone to see the hope and light that exists despite the obstacles.

Sprinkled throughout are delectable sounding recipes for the comfort food Kartes is known for cooking on various shows and in her cookbooks and on her website. Many of the stories of her life she tells feature a food dish that provided comfort, nourishment and grounding through the pain, and those are provided for the reader.

A couple of things that I would have liked: she and her husband have developed a food photography business, so it was a bit sad to not have photos accompanying the recipes, even in black and white. I think that would have enticed me to cook the recipes more than just reading the words. Also, the stories she told weren't linear, we skip back and forth in time so occasionally things seemed repetitive since I already knew the outcome of a particular situation. I like a memoir to be more straightforward with the timeline.

Kartes is unapologetically Christian and her stories reflect her faith and how God has shown up in her life. I think readers should know this going into the book because Danielle's faith is as much a part of her writing as the food and cooking.

This book is very relatable for me and I really appreciated her honesty about herself and the things she has endured. She has a prominent social media presence and I plan to look for her cookbooks so I can prepare some of the delectable sounding dishes.

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This book was not what I was expecting. I re-read the publisher’s promotional introduction as I hoped I had just missed some cues. It was not presented as religious a book as it progressively became, the further into the chapters I read. The recipes were few and while obviously beloved to the author, not inspirational or unique in any way to this reader. The timeline of this memoir jumped about and it was hard to discern what, if any, thread was being woven. Not to my taste, and I’d recommend the promotional material make more explicit the strong Christian religious tenor of this work.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this eARC.

2.5 stars rounded to 3

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This was a pretty good book, but if you don’t want a heavy dose of religion I don’t think this is for you. It’s a bit of a memoir, a bit of a cookbook, and a bit of a devotional. Overall I enjoyed it, but definitely be prepared for it to be religious.

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This book is heavy on the religious aspect, but it doesn't detract from the material. I think many people will find it comforting. You Were Always There feels like essays that happen to have great recipes. I enjoyed the overall concept and the writing is relaxing. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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I found this book difficult to relate to. Danielle is obviously a very talented chef with a wealth of experience, but for me the side helping of God was too much. For a person of faith I'm sure this would be a great book but for me personally it got on the way.

The handful of recipes look good and I will definitely try one or two of those. I may even take a look at Danielle's cook books.

I thank Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this title in exchange for an unbiased review.

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This is a book of enjoyable essays, all interwoven but able to be read individually. The author covers her history, including marriage (and struggles), opening and closing a restaurant, pregnancy/childbirth/motherhood, cooking, writing, friendship, financial ruin and starting over, and letting God lead you. I am not super religious but was not opposed to the religious mentions in the book.
The stories were heartfelt and relatable. While the book does cover her restaurant and later food styling and writing business, I would not consider this a cookbook. There are only a handful of recipes. They do sound good. The one addition I would have enjoyed would be photos of the dishes, or some type of visuals added throughout.

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I've been a fan of Danielle's for years. In fact, in 2021 I decided to cook through her entire "Generations" cookbook, so I am familiar with her as an author. This memoir was incredibly vulnerable and well written. I loved how she tied in her real life experiences and consistently connected it back to her faith. There are also some recipes sprinkled throughout the book which I am excited to try, and It was fun to be able to read a story that involved food and then at the end of the chapter see the recipe mentioned. Do know - this book is definitely faith-based and she talks consistently about her relationship with God. She is encouraging and uplifting while also being so honest about some of the darkest times in her life. I absolutely would gift this to a friend going through a hard time. She writes as if she is talking to a friend, and if you follow her on social media - you will recognize her voice through the words on the page. She is vibrant and dynamic and I really enjoyed this one,.

Thank you to SourceBooks and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Danielle Kartes calls her book, "notes about life," and I would too. While Kartes has written a number of cookbooks, You Were Always There is part memoir, part cookbook, part devotional. Kartes details how cooking became "her lifeline" after facing the closing of her restaurant, problems in her marriage, two difficult pregnancies, as well as a bankruptcy filing.

Her premise is simple -- despite all that we endure in life, we often lose sight of ourselves, but in essence, we are "always there." I liked Kartes' writing style -- it's fresh and engaging but also raw and brutally honest as well. And while the devotional aspect of this book could be a little much for me, I became a Danielle Kartes fan and have since ordered two of her cookbooks.

I would like to thank #NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this ARC of You Were Always There by Danielle Kartes.

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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was around 3.5 stars for me.

There's more religious focus than I expected. This book blends memoir and recipes. There's a handful of recipes throughout the book based on experiences or themes. There aren't any pictures of the recipes. The stories are fairly short, some are just a few pages. There's a lot of emotion and vulnerability shared, but because the stories are short and jump around it's hard to get invested at times.

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This is a book I would have in my bookshelf or bedside table, coffee table or next to my lounge chair, it is a book I can read over and over again.

To me this is the kind of uplifting book that makes you think about yourself and all the life challenges you've had and all the great times as well. This is the kind of book I would love to write. Is it a memoir, is it a cookbook, is it a feel good book? It is all that and more.

The recipes are just as good as the stories and they all tie in together to make a wonderful book that would make a great gift for anyone who loves, life, stories and food.

An inspirational book that I need to go out and buy for myself and all the people I love.

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I requested access to this ARC, knowing that it was a bit outside of my areas of interest. I was right and, unfortunately, it just doesn't resonate with me, though I can see it being a great choice for book clubs and readers who love comfort food and comforting stories. The writing is without problems. The personal stories are hopeful. The recipes seem widely appealing. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for advance access.

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Danielle Kartes has generously shared in this honest memoir that life has its ups and downs which I am sure that we are all aware of as humans. She is very honest about a failing marriage that was headed for divorce but was saved when she and her husband learned they were expecting their first child. This took for both of them to take a good hard look at themselves and they were both invested in working things out. It always takes a concerted effort of both partners to be able to work together and themselves.

She loves to cook and throughout this book she has sprinkled in some very delicious recipes which I am grateful to acquire and gain access to via this book.

I found a lot of inspiration and maturity in this Author's courageous willingness to be so open about the high and low parts of her life experience. She is very religious and gained perseverance with her strong faith. I loved reading about her experiences such as a restaurant that had meant everything to her. You could easily see her passion for creating a place that she turned into an oasis but sadly it lead to bankruptcy.

She and her husband both enjoy the thrill and overwhelming love of having a first child. I could relate to that magical or rather what a miracle having children is and how they enrich our lives. Mine are all young adults but her devotion and overpowering love was easy to relate too. I think her focal point for sharing the trials and tribulations she shares are meant to lift up and give hope that we are never alone with our own challenges we face in both the welcome experiences and also the unexpected. I found her to be warm in her writing and she spoke to me in a conversational way. I very much enjoyed this book and it came along at just the right time.

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

A Huge debt of gratitude to Net Galley, Danielle Kartes and SOURCEBOOKS for graciously providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#YouWereAlwaysThere #DanielleKartes #Sourcebooks #NetGalley

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