Cover Image: The Divine Proverb of Streusel

The Divine Proverb of Streusel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Books like Sara Brunsvold's The Divine Proverb of Streusel, which dish out culinary expertise blended with wisdom, are some of my favorites-since they often include recipes.

The protagonist of the tale is Nikki Werner, who is still in shock over her parents' divorce. She finds herself at her Uncle Wes's farm as she attempts to make sense of her life. The narrative finds its rhythm once she gets to the farm.

I cherished how important faith was to the story. The handwritten devotions from Proverbs and the depression-era recipes that Nikki discovers from her German immigrant grandmother transform her life, and I venture to guess that they will change the lives of some readers as well.

The juxtaposition of Nikki's life and her grandmother's is richly illustrated in the tale. Because of the author's deft illustration, the reader is left with a lasting memory and a desire to try the recipes.

The story is peopled with some wonderful characters, like Aunt Emma, and some characters who, for whatever reason, get lost in the process, like Nikki's schoolteacher friend. All of them, nevertheless, were significant in Nikki's life.

I was so excited to get an advanced copy of The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold, because I really enjoyed her debut book, The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kipp. Although The Divine Proverb of Streusel fell just short of the bar set by her remarkable debut novel, I found it to be a “delicious” read, especially the poignant moments of the latter part. Reading this book was an intriguing, rewarding experience.

I received a review copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group/Revell through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Was this review helpful?

This book wasn’t my favorite. I couldn’t get into the story. I enjoyed the recipes and the concept of the book but it took me a while to read this book because nothing stuck out enough for me to remember to read it. I didn’t dislike it enough to not finish the book but I felt like the book wasn’t plot-driven enough and the characters weren’t relatable enough for me to get invested in the book.

Was this review helpful?

Nikki's father left her mother, married within three months of the divorce being final, and now wants back into Nikki's life. With all the upheaval in Nikki's life, she decided to leave town for a few days to get her thoughts in order and get her head on straight. The place she runs to is her uncle's house and finds refuge as well as meaning and purpose to her life. She offers to help her uncle refurbish his old farmhouse that has been in the family for many generations and with the summer off from her teaching job, she's got the time to do the work to help her uncle out. In working with him, she finds a notebook full of her great-grandmother's recipes, along with some words of wisdom great-grandmother found along the way. In choosing recipes to try and reading the wisdom that each recipe holds, Nikki comes to find that forgiving is a great burden reliever and healer for her soul. In learning this, she passes the wisdom on to her Uncle Wes.

The romances in this story are secondary to the depth of spiritual knowledge included, and secondary to the plot development itself. Sara Brunsvold has woven a depth into this book that makes it hard to read, but that is not a bad thing, Sometimes hard is exactly what is needed by the reader. It is far more rewarding because there is so much more substance to this novel.

This is a five star book with two thumbs up and a homemade streusel for dessert.

Revell Publishing provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Wonderful book from cover to cover! I already have a chain of three book buddies lined up who will love this book as much as I have. I’ll share it with a “Must read!” exclamation. The title captures the imagination and it delivers a story with so much heart. It’s quite a feat when an author can make a relative who died years ago standout as a main character. Grandma Anna fits into the plot as seamlessly as her granddaughter, Nikki and Anna’s two sons, Wes and Chris.
I started using sticky tags to bookmark stellar sentences. The prose is lyrical and nuggets of wisdom crafted by the author are scattered throughout. The recipes, recipe notes, and companion Bible verses from Proverbs make the plot sing.
I haven't read Sarah Brunsvold's debut novel, but I’m interested. This newest release is a superb example of Contemporary Christian fiction. So many readers will relate to her storyline and they will be encouraged and lifted by the characters' growth and changes. I appreciate how directly the author dealt with the shunning of all things German during WWII. Her accurate portrayal of farm life and rural small towns add to the story.  

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Revell in exchange for my honest review.

#TheDivineProverbOfStreusel!

Was this review helpful?

Another great story by this author. The way she writes just keeps me turning the pages. There is so much to enjoy in this book and I love the healing aspects of this story. If you haven’t read it I recommend you do.
Thanks for the advanced copy

Was this review helpful?

After hearing nothing but glittering reviews for Ms Brunsvold's debut, "The Extraordinary Death of Mrs Kip," I jumped on the chance to read her latest, "The Divine Proverb of Streusel." Although this was slower than I am used to and took me a while to get into, it ultimately fed me like 'chicken soup for the soul.'

I devour a complex family dynamic and whew, this defititely checked that box. Nikki, whose father just left their family and married another woman. Uncle Wes, who came back to his home farm after his stint in the military. The grandparents who had a rocky marriage and hidden secrets themselves. The mysterious family history concerning a recipe book and old pictures. Each layer of generational issues whispered into the present; a lesson for all families. Even though the end did not end with everyone hugging and making up, I thought it was the most accurate, sensitive, and hopeful ending.

Growing up in the kitchen with mom, cooking and baking, I loved the emphasis on the ministry of food. It really does a person and a community wonders to come around one another and serve each other through physical acts of love.

While reading, I highlighted so many passages that spoke powerfully on the topics of healing, forgiveness, community, and spiritual nourishment, particularly from Aunt Emma and Great-Grandma Lena's recipe book. What a beautiful, encouraging, and convicting message for everyone that has faced and is facing betrayal, heartbreak, grief, bitterness, and anger. Basically, a book for humanity.

Was this review helpful?

About this book:

“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.”


Series: As of now, no, a stand-alone novel.


Spiritual Content- Prayers & Blessings over food; Many Scriptures are quoted, mentioned, thought about, & read; Bible reading (Wes); Wes & Aunt Emma are members of Lutheran churches; Church going, sermons, & singing; Many talks about God, Jesus, peace, forgiveness, & those in the Bible; 'H's are not capital when referring to God; On one Sunday, Wes struggles to pay attention to the sermon because of a woman; Nikki thinks of cooking and baking as “close to God as she might get” (because she’s creating); Many mentions of God, Jesus, His peace, & forgiveness; Mentions of prayers, praying, & giving thanks; Mentions of praying for “divine whacks” for certain people; Mentions of Bibles, Bible reading, & those and events in the Bible; Mentions of the Lutheran church, their services, synod congregations, church going, sermons, pastors/vicars, hymns, hymnals, & services; Mentions of the enemy using malice and bitterness; Mentions of Martin Luther & Dietrich Bonhoeffer (including a quote by the latter); A handful of mentions of Heaven; A handful of mentions of a Lutheran publishing house (Concordia); A few mentions of a portrait of Jesus at a church; A few mentions of devotionals; A few mentions of blessings & being Blessed; A few mentions of confirmation classes; A couple mentions of the Holy Spirit; A mention of Bible studies; A mention of seminary; A mention of Sunday school; A mention of a pastor making the sign of a cross; A mention of a cross charm;
*Note: Nikki goes to her grandmother’s gravestone to talk to her and fells silly doing so because she doesn’t think she can hear her, but says that she’s “murky on the theology of such things”; A teasing mention of expecting men to “evolve past” a gender flaw; A teasing mention of someone being called a “future teller” (the person responds that she is a “life liver or an experience haver”); A mention of hero worship; A mention of a superstition.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘dumb’ and an ‘oh my word’; A mention of a person’s name being “like a curse word”; Finding a friend’s body (from heatstroke, barely-above-not-detailed); Grief (for the death of a friend and son-like friend, & Nikki for her parent’s divorce); Nikki’s parents are recently divorced & a major focus of this book is Nikki’s hurt and bitterness towards her father for his actions (This is discussed and mentioned often as well as many bitter comments from Nikki towards him; Uncle Wes prays hard for his involvement in both his niece and brother’s lives and tries to talk with them both throughout the book; *Spoiler* The book ends with Nikki trying to forgive and reconnect with her father *End of Spoiler*; Wes tells a lie to someone (because he doesn’t want the person’s help) & quickly tries to make the lie true; Mentions of the Nazis, an execution, a concentration camp, wars, injuries/wounds, pain, prejudices (towards German-Americans); Mentions of deaths & grief (for a mother, a sister, parents for their a son, a friend, & what could have been/close relationships with others); Mentions of a divorce & the grief from those involved (Nikki, her mother, & sister); Mentions of a man’s unhealed hurt from his father’s words and actions & therefore hurting others with his own actions (including a shouting match, a missed swing; *Spoiler* Nikki’s father *End of Spoiler*); Mentions of an elderly family member falling & her injuries (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of alcohol, people drinking at parties/celebrations, wine at communion, & a woman telling others not to tell her pastor that she had a beer; Mentions of a father spanking & “tanning the hide” of his sons when disobeying; A few mentions of the death of a farmer in a tractor rollover accident; A few mentions of a bully & a sibling punching the bully that was picking on his brother; A few mentions of lies, lying, & liars (including a woman telling one and saying she’ll ask for forgiveness later); A mention of a POW camp; A mention of rumors;
*Note: In high school, Uncle Wes recalls that he needed to “figure out who he was” without anyone’s expectations of him; An older woman comments that “marriage used to mean so much more than it does these days. People seem to throw it away like it’s a used paper towel.”; A few comments about an older sibling not being able to have a childhood like her young sister did; Mentions of a woman’s father not being around much because of his mental health (implied that he was living in a mental institution and she tried hard to love him where he was); Mentions of a western movie & country singers and songs (Shane, Alan Ladd Western, Reba McEntire, Neal McCoy, Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan, Bob Seger, & George Strait); Mentions of authors & books (classics, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, & Harry Potter); Mentions of car brands; Mentions of brand names (Hostess, John Deere, Big Red gum, Juicy Fruit, Wrigley’s, Life cereal, Mary Janes, Hugo Boss cologne, & Mounds candy bars); A few mentions of baseball teams; A few mentions of stores (including Dollar General); A few mentions of Google; A mention of Rocky; A mention of Hallmark movies; A mention of Netflix; A mention of Facebook.


Sexual Content- Some Touches, Dancing, Embraces, Nearness, & Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes; Noticing (including Wes noticing a woman’s hips and lips, barely-above-not-detailed); a ‘babe’; Nikki’s father had an affair & married the other woman after divorcing her mother (*Spoilers* Her father says they weren’t happy and is now happier with his new wife; Nikki didn’t realize that her parents were unhappy and her mother shares that “the empty nest amplifies the gaps in a relationship. The gaps had become so much bigger than we realized. We had neglected too many things for too long. I tried to work on them, but it takes two.” *End of Spoilers*); Because of the hurt of her parents’ sudden divorce and father’s affair, Nikki worries about her own relationship with her boyfriend and it shakes her view of marriage and security; Nikki’s sister tells her that “Love is often confused with infatuation. I found [her husband] attractive, for sure…but the real way I knew was because I trusted him. With everything….I trusted him to see the worst of me, the ugliest pieces, and still choose me.”; When Nikki comments on marriage being “big enough to hurt you if you get it wrong”, another woman tells her that “Yes, I suppose that is true. But marriage is also big enough to be the most noble role you’ll ever have.”; *Spoiler* The book ends with Nikki and her boyfriend forgiving each other for their words and actions *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of dating, dances, break-ups, & a broken heart; A few mentions of an elopement (with a couple moving away first and then getting married); A couple mentions of complicated relationships; A mention of a kiss; Some love, falling/being in love, & the emotions (light);
*Note: Mentions of a calf having to be “cut” to become a steer (a few mentions of his wounds, but nothing else); A mention of underwear & sports bras; A mention of a man wearing only swim trunks.

-Nikki Werner, age 26
-(Uncle) Wesley “Wes” Werner
P.O.V. switches between them
336 pages

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- Three Stars
Older High School Teens- Four Stars
My personal Rating- Three Stars (and a half)

{This book could be triggering or potentially healing to those whose parents have divorced.}

This book is a slower pace than most books I read, so it took me a bit to get into it, but at the same time was such a comforting read in the way of the writing style. It’s easy to visualize different places and events in the book and I really like that.

My heart hurt for Nikki. With everything that she’s going through—the bitter heartbreak of her father’s affair and new marriage and then her questioning love with her serious boyfriend, I can’t blame her from running away. That said, I do wish she would have been honest and upfront with her boyfriend, because they’ve obviously been together a while and really do care for each other. I wish the ending was just a little bit longer for this reason alone because how it all worked out felt a little rushed. I do wish we could have seen more faith elements from Nikki’s point of view, as well, because personal faith moments (such as praying or reading the Bible) were mostly from Uncle Wes.

I’m pretty sure I have a great Aunt (or two 😉) like Aunt Emma in this book, so she was easily my favorite character. Even though I’m not typically one for books with recipes and/or a food focus, I was curious about this book because of my own German heritage and actually recognized a couple of the recipes mentioned.

There’s a lot to unpack in this book. There’s so many wisdom-like nuggets thrown throughout it. It’s really a book I feel like you have to savior each chapter to understand hidden conversations and meanings, to be able to understand what Uncle Wes means when he thinks about history repeating itself. Does everything wrap up with a nice, neat little bow at the end of this book? No, not necessarily, but it’s realistic. There’s hope for the future at the end of this book and that’s what made it good.

I think I would say that I liked “The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip” just a touch more, but I still really enjoyed this one as well. I’ll definitely be watching out for any new books by this author in the future!



Link to review:
https://booksforchristiangirls.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-divine-proverb-of-streusel-by-sara.html?m=0


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell) for this honest review.

Was this review helpful?

“The Divine Proverb of Streusel” by Sara Brunsvold is an utterly satisfying novel with an unusual thought-provoking title, delightfully multilayered with heartache, heartbreak and healing, forgiveness and love of family, interspersed with brilliant nuggets of wisdom. When Nikki Werner tries to retrieve her shattered present at her uncle’s farm, the past confronts her in a strange way, through an old notebook found among her grandmother’s possessions, filled with handwritten German recipes and wise sayings from the book of Proverbs. By connecting to her heritage, Nikki learns how her ancestral women endured – through their proficient culinary prowess, exceptional cooking skills and a healthy dose of faith thrown in for good measure. This is a beautiful faith-filled novel, a tale so honest that simple times and simple truth stand out in glaring light. With its intricate details and memorable, highly relatable characters, it is a veritable feast to rediscover one’s illustrious heritage and reconcile the most fragmented relationships. Sara Brunsvold pens a tale so lavishly flavored with the enlightening wisdom of past generations and life’s valuable lessons learnt in the crucible of suffering.

Was this review helpful?

The Divine Proverb of Streusel
Sara Brunsvold
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Nikki Werner's life has been turned upside down. Her parents have recently divorced, her childhood home is being sold, and her father has remarried. A decision to take a drive to clear her head turns into an unexpected trip to the farm where she visited her grandmother once a year as a child. Nikki winds up on her uncle's doorstep and when she learns he's renovating the farmhouse, she decides to stay and help.

Among her late grandmother's boxes, Nikki finds some German hymn books and a notebook of handwritten recipes along with wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Determined to try out the recipes and share them with the people who knew her grandmother, Nikki begins to learn stories about the town, her family history, and her estranged father.

Our introduction to this author was a pleasant surprise! We were impressed with the intricately woven scripture and faith-based references. There was no doubt this was a Christian fiction work.

The main character, Nikki Werner, was struggling with her dad’s family betrayal and how she could be certain of her own progressing relationship with Isaac. She was plagued with bitterness and doubt as she escapes to her late grandmother’s vacant farmhouse. Under the guidance of her Uncle Wes, a few local residents, her Aunt Emma (through email), and the recovered family notebook with recipes and words of wisdom, she begins to see the past, present and her future through different eyes. Brunsvold included an impactful clarification when Nikki asks her Aunt Emma how she forgives. She gracefully responds it isn’t how but why.

We highly recommend you read this novel to uncover all the hidden gems in this story. We look forward to reading more from Sara Brunsvold.

We received an advance copy from the publisher. This is our honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book is like a primer on establishing relationships with the past and improving current ones. Nikki Werner flees to her Uncle Wes’s property in rural Missouri when her father’s leaving her mom breaks her heart, followed by a her boyfriend not being someone she can count on right now. At Uncle Wes’s farm, Nikki finds an old notebook that belonged to her grandmother and that contains handwritten recipes along with proverbs. As Nikki lovingly prepares the old recipes, she learns to put heart into her cooking as she thinks about all of the challenges in life that she is now facing. She meets new people, makes new friends and gets insight into what she is facing and how to face it. During the reading of this book, I was challenged to think about my own past and its effect on my present and apply God’s truth to what has happened and is happening. This is a book that teaches lessons about redemption, forgiveness, looking for the path God wants for you and not accepting less than God’s peace and His best in your life. I loved all of the characters, especially Aunt Emma who dispensed wisdom as well as unconditional love. The plot was well-paced and totally engrossing as Nikki invites one person after another and learns a lot about her past from each of them, all while pondering in her mind about what to do about her father and her boyfriend. The recipes are fascinating, too, making me want to try a few of them like the pancakes and the streusel. I am impressed with the author’s story within a story and the depth of her research. All in all, this is a wonderful book with a story clamoring to be read again and again and enjoyed by book clubs as they discuss the recipes, the importance of connection to the past and forgiving even when it’s hard.
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell, the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16th CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertisng.”

Was this review helpful?

I loved Brunsvold's debut novel and was eagerly anticipating her follow up. Like Mrs Kip, 'Streusel' is built on going deep with her characters in a small town setting. She particularly explores the impact of family, how parents personalities, strengths and weaknesses flow into their children and how they can still be prominent long into adult life.

Nicky Werner is 26, an English teacher who has just finished the school year. She's now on summer break and life goes a little haywire. Her father recently left her mom and re-married very quickly thereafter much to Nicky, her mom and sister's surprise and anger. Nicky doesn't know how to deal with the betrayal and in a fit of emotion drives 200 miles to the place of her childhood that always brought her peace: her grandmother Ann's farmhouse.

Nicky's greeted by her uncle Wes, who is living in the accompanying homestead. Wes, surprised by the unexpected visit from the niece he hasn't seen for years, receives Nicky with mixed feelings. Initially, Nicky plans only to stay for a weekend but this soon becomes the summer break.

Nicky and Wes get to renovating the farmhouse while she learns more about her father's family. Nicky hopes this will help in her healing. At the same time, her boyfriend, Isaac, didn't take Nicky's sudden excursion well and promptly leaves for a similar period to manage a project in Portland. As some other reviewers have mentioned, I found Isaac's response a little childish, but that doesn't take away from the fact, we can do these types of things out of fear, hurt, and confusion. Similarly, some of Nicky's responses appear a little immature, but once again, that shouldn't 't take away from the authenticity of the story. People, no matter the age, can behave in such a way when circumstances push their buttons in such a way.

Nicky is forced to go deeper into herself but I'm not convinced we really get to the bottom of what's going on inside her beyond the obvious hurt from how her father has reacted. Nicky gets a better understanding of her father's background and his father's old fashioned strict command and control-style parental style.

Wes is an intriguing character. He too has struggled in adulthood from the challenging role model of a father. He has a tendency to keep everything pent up inside, unlike his brother, Nicky's dad, who's the gregarious one. Wes has a strong confidante in his Aunt Emma, his mom's younger sister. She, in some ways, is the star of the story. Her wisdom and willingness to simply listen and encourage is a wonderful example for Wes and Nicky. They both learn a lot from her.

I struggled with Wes's reaction to his strong feelings for Joyce. Joyce is a marvellous character, a woman who has been in love with Wes for much of her life. Wes has had similar feelings but for some unexplained reason is fearful of taking the next step. I wish Brunsvold had given us a little more insight into Wes's character, which might explain some of his standoffish behaviour towards the love of his life.

Grandma Ann's book of recipes drawn from her mother's kitchen features throughout the story. Having tasted some of them via a past life with an excellent German cook, I'm aware how special they are. We see the power of food, gathering around a table and hospitality of sharing food with others. It adds a nice touch to the story.

Brunsvold has a deft touch with how she flows faith through her stories. It's all very natural and clear it's an important ingredient to her own life and the stories she writes which is excellent.

Perhaps not as outstanding as Mrs Kip, Streusel is strong and I'm looking forward to her third story.

I was fortunate to receive an early ebook copy from Revell via Net Galley. This has had no bearing on my review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Revell for my Advanced copy. All thoughts are my own

This is my first book by Sara Brunsvold and I'm looking forward to more! She wove a story of past and present family pain with heritage and faith. A unique but impactful mix!

Nikki Werner, a high school literature teacher, is left bereft after her father leaves her mother and rapidly remarries. She is unable to commit to her serious boyfriend and, on a whim, escapes to small town Missouri where her father is from. Her quiet, bachelor Uncle Wes takes her in and she starts to help him fix up her grandparents' old farmhouse. In the process, she finds an old recipe book with life lessons that start to mirror her own life. As she works over the summer and befriends many in the small town, Nikki starts to understand what made her uncle and dad who they are. And she learns a lot about herself in the process too.

I enjoyed the journey for both Nikki and Wes as they searched themselves to further their faith. I was hooked by the last half of the book but the first half did drag a little in some places. Regardless, I enjoyed the story!

Was this review helpful?

‘The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs Kip’ set an extremely high benchmark, raising expectations for all readers of Sara Brunsvold’s first novel. ‘The Divine Proverb of Streusel’ has similarities – a younger person learning life’s lessons from older generations – but also many differences – Nikki doesn’t even get to meet her main mentors (at least, not in person.)
The opening chapter tugs at the heartstrings straight away, drawing the reader in to immediately caring. Including the recipes was a good idea, adding to the interest & also providing places to pause in reading.
There are lots of quotes worth taking a note of :-
“Turn away the indignation that will invariably come to your door...pounding in its loud and obnoxious way. Resist its advances. Leave it cold on the porch.”
A book rich in wisdom, & don’t we all need that in our lives...

Was this review helpful?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Divine Proverb of Streusel, but I loved this book. The story features Nikki Werner, a literature teacher whose world is rocked by her parents divorce. Unable to commit to her own boyfriend she takes off to the farm where her father grew up. Nikki decides to summer with her bachelor uncle and help him renovate her grandma’s farmhouse.

While clearing old boxes, Nikki finds a recipe book, filled with more than food ideas. Each item also includes a life lesson. As Nikki works though the book, she’s able to process the chaos in her personal and family life.

Sara Brunsvold is one of the most creative writers around. Just wow. This book has it all. From Nikki’s emotional angst, to the brokenness within her wider family. The gentleness of the life lessons in the book, two dashes of romance, and of course, the recipes. The characters and setting are beautifully drawn and I challenge any reader not to enjoy this lovely story.

I received a copy of The Divine Proverb of Streusel from the publisher via NetGalley. The enjoyment is all my own.

Was this review helpful?

“This novel truly affirms that writing of Christian novels is meant to be a ministry on its own.
Sara Brunsvold’s The Divine Proverb of Streusel’ is like a meal prepared by the Divine Chef Himself. Set in the town of Eddner, Missouri this novel has all the ingredients to make it a masterpiece, unforgettable characters, a well-developed plot, and themes that tug at the heart. Nikki Werner is a young woman struggling to come to terms with the divorce and subsequent remarriage of her father. An impulsive decision lands her at the doorstep of her paternal uncle Wesley ‘Wes’ Werner. The two embark on a project to remodel the Werner’s farmhouse leading to a discovery of an extraordinary cooking book which helps to bring healing to a broken woman’s heart.
One thing that stood out for me in this novel is the incorporation of food recipes and nuggets from the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Never have I read a novel which has spoken to me like. The characters of the novel were so relatable with even the minor characters like Aunt Emma and Joyce leaving a mark in my heart. Sara Brunvold has done an awesome job of blending romance, forgiveness, scriptures, food recipes, farm life and pain to create a delightful novel worth reading. This is the first novel I have read from this author, and I cannot wait to read her other works.
For anyone who wants to read a novel that will challenge their faith and cause them to want to whip up German recipes this is a novel for you.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion."

Was this review helpful?

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a Contemporary Christian Fiction. This family saga by author Sara Brunsvold is filled with cooking and small town church/community. It is a cleverly crafted tale that is ripe with Christian messages, proverbs, scripture, and German recipes.

The author has an easy-going style of writing. A slow pace set the tone for the story. This is not a book to be rushed. It needs to be carefully read and pondered.

Easy to follow, it had me engaged with the distinct characters. I loved reading about the different women and men in Nikki’s family. Each character is precisely crafted to fulfill a specific roll in this poignant multi-generational Christian fiction that is unique in many ways. I adored sassy Aunt Emma. The semi-romance between Uncle Wes and someone sizzles. Sparks fly!

Parts of the story made me emotional along with the characters. It is so easy to relate to certain situations or have a friend that has experienced the same thing. The Christian and life lessons are beautiful. Forgiveness, family, love, redemption, and acceptance are main topics that have remained with me. The proverbs are definitely noteworthy. Sprinkled throughout the story are priceless old German recipes. It was fun reading how they were made and tasted.

A few things bothered me because it was a Christian fiction. There is talk of going to the gravesite to speak to a deceased relative. A mention of drinking beer and not telling their minister. Talk of superstition and hero worship also bothered me. This is just me and may not bother you. In the storyline, I felt let down when certain things were planned and never happened. The ending seemed to appear too soon and was rushed. Do these make it a bad book. Absolutely not!

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is book that will long remain with readers. It will encourage, entertain, inspire, make readers think differently about family and friends in trials. Any reading group would love this as a choice. There is so much to discuss. Hopefully we will see it on a screen sometime as it will make a dynamic movie. I highly recommend this book and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Revell Publishing, but these are my honest words.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Revell and NetGalley for this gifted book!*
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Title: The Divine Proverb of Streusel
Author: Sara Brunsvold
Genre: Christian Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Revell

Synopsis: “Sometimes we have to look back to discern the way forward.” Nikki Werner’s life is falling apart. With her dad’s recent leaving and his sudden remarriage, she leaves her mom, boyfriend, and home searching for answers. When she unexpectedly arrives at her uncle’s doorstep, she finds herself renovating her great grandmother’s farmhouse and revealing the secrets of her family’s past. Through a handwritten cookbook, old family history, and newfound friendship, Nikki begins to discover that it takes time, learning, and faith to put everything back together. And like the process that cooking is, sometimes the path to healing and true forgiveness take some effort too.

Analysis: With messages of family, faith, and forgiveness, Sara Brunsvold brings a beautiful character-driven story that is sure to leave an impact on your heart. While it’s not a fast-paced novel, you’ll find that the writing style is beautiful and sprinkled with recipes and proverbs. (I could share a million quotes!) The small town feel and family connections drive you deep into the hearts of Nikki, her uncle, and others in the community. I love how relatable the characters are. And they deal with struggles that many families face today: broken relationships, divorce, and fear. You’ll laugh with these characters, cry with them, and ultimately experience the joy of forgiveness that only Jesus can bring.

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Content Rating: Clean

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

Was this review helpful?

A Book for the Keeper Shelf!

Wedged between wise words from a legacy of Christian heritage to scripture from Proverbs, the journey described within this emotional story is thought provoking. It begs its reader to take heed to its words, self-reflect, stop to ponder in order to gain an introspective view of our own relationships.

Some of my favorite quotes-

“Love alone would not fix what was broken.”

“In every great romance ever written, love always had a way of returning itself to the giver. Eventually.”

“Do the next thing. When in doubt, when in fear, when in far too deep, it was the only thing she could do.”

“You can either look at what you don’t have and yearn, or you can look at what you do have and give thanks.”

“No joy could be brighter than that of forgiveness received—and given.”

Brunsvold’s story is about discovering family and cultural background through visiting its past and meshing it with the present. She flawlessly employs written, electronic and face-to-face communications to develop relationships throughout the storyline. And if that isn’t enough, she adds the magic of old recipes, baking, a kitchen and a community.

This book is suitable for teens and older with no inappropriate intimate scenes and no bad language. I received this book from the author/publisher free of charge, with no expectation of a positive review. I also purchased my own print copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

What a story! This was an incredible journey of learning family heritage, learning about the hero and heroine's selves, learning about forgiveness, and learning about cooking. This story was incredible with fantastic characters and so much real life. Also, I can't wait to try some of the recipes. Highly highly highly recommend!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

This one was an emotional read for me. It hit home for me as a reader. I could fill what Nikki Werner was going through. Not her parents divorce because as a daughter I never had to go through that. But it was the losing her grandma and finding the German recipes that hit me the hardest, because I to lost my oma and she left behind a collection of German recipes and her Streusel was like a warm hug. Brunsvold did what great writers do she used fiction to hit this reader with the emotion and the feels.

Was this review helpful?