Member Reviews

When her father walks out on the family, 20-something Nikki Werner doubts everything. She loses faith in her own relationship, she challenges her faith in God. With the summer off from her teaching job, Nikki seeks a refuge. To her surprise, she finds that opportunity in her father's hometown, helping her uncle with a home restoration. The house, which one belong to her grandparents, gives her a space for the summer. Nikki finds old books from her grandmother and great-grandmother, including a recipe book with notes in the margin. Cooking becomes therapeutic and, with the help of a long-time friend of her grandmother, Nikki learns how to master the recipes. Yes, this includes a streusel.

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This is a sweet inspirational novel about family, grief, and how food ties in with both. The sentimentality of recipes and the memories attached to them is prevalent throughout the book. With a strong faith them, The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a solid pick for inspy readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Nikki Werner’s parents’ divorce shakes her and makes her think about relationships. She worries about what might happen with her serious boyfriend in the future since her parent's relationship ended. Does anything last? She heads to the farm in a small Missouri town, where she spent Christmas with her grandparents in the past. It is now owned by her uncle, who she really doesn't know. Will she be able to find some clarity and make decisions for her life while there? In return for letting her stay, she offers to help clear out the farmhouse. She comes upon a box of her late grandmother's things and finds a notebook. It is full of old German recipes and sayings from the book of Proverbs. She decides to try the recipes and invite family and friends to join her at the table. They spend time talking about the history and past of the town and not only does Nicki find clarity, but wounds heal and relationships develop among the new friends she makes.

I really enjoyed this delicious story. This is my first book by Sara Brunsvold and I will definitely look for more. I loved her writing style and this story was so relatable. Families and friends often have a falling out over cross words or misunderstandings, and forgiveness isn't always easy. Nikki and her father have to reconcile and it is not easy. Nikki and her uncle are great characters, well developed and easy to relate to. Both have things to reconcile with and things to forgive in order to move forward. Can they take the first step? Nikki’s journey to connect with her roots soon turns into an engaging journey. The scriptures are embedded in this story in a natural way and are the path that brings Nikki peace. I loved all the talk of food and how this brings about friendships and conversation. Nothing like connecting over a good meal. As Nikki leans more about her family, especially her ancestors doors open to stories of love, loss, and resilience, which allows her to take the steps necessary for her happiness in her future.

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The authors first book was literally life changing for me. It's one that I will be reading again and again. When I saw she had another book coming out I could not hit request quickly enough! She tackles the hard things and shows that life is life it's not easy and it's messy. But oh there's grace. Her books are like a sermon wrapped in a story and I cannot say enough good things about her writing or this book!

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Sara Brunsvold perfectly captures how difficult divorce is for children, at any age, in The Devine Proverb of Streusel. I loved the strong representation of faith, The Bible, and family. It is only through these three things that Nikki is able to begin her journey of forgiveness.

Written in partial epistolary format, this book infuses emails, texts, and journal entries. In doing so, the story alternates from third to first person point of view. I loved having the alternate perspectives because it allowed me to get a clear picture of the Werner family.

The Werner family all but lost their German traditions with the war. They began to slowly give up elements of their culture to better acclimate in the US and distance themselves from the evil of Hitler. It was lovely to see Nikki, while in the deepest part of her struggle with family, connecting to it in a way no one had for generations.

Special thanks to Netgalley, Revell, and Sara Brunsvold for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest feedback.

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3.5 Stars
The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara was one of my favorite books of 2022 so I was SO excited to dive into Sara's next book! While it's hard to live up to my love for Mrs. Kip's story, this one was a solid contemporary Christian story with beautiful faith content throughout the story that I thoroughly enjoyed. In this story, we follow Nikki who is devastated from her parent's divorce. She doesn't know what to do with her life, relationship with Isaac or how to approach her father after his betrayal to her and her family.

Nikki ends up going to stay with her Uncle Wes in the town her father grew up in. She ends up finding old recipes of her grandmother and learns so much of her German history within her family that she never knew about before.

I really enjoyed this one overall - while some parts were slow for me, I loved the faith elements, proverbs scriptures, recipes, characters and the forgiveness thread.

"It is not what I forgive, it's why I choose to do it that matters most. The why is Jesus." Amen.

This story has some tough topics discussed in depth for the divorce of parents but Sara handled it so well.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to honestly read and review.

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I have heard so many great things about this book and while there were a few things in this book that I don't agree with theologically, it was a story that kept me entertained and hooked to finish reading to see how it all would turn out. New to me author who I will be reading more of her books in the future.

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“Stories are the universal heart language. They bring together what is scattered.”

Oh my goodness, y’all. The Divine Proverb of Streusel is such a richly told story. Sara Brunsvold’s way with words captured me from the very beginning and drew me indelibly to these characters and their poignant explorations of family and faith. There is so much I want to say about this gorgeous book, and I know already that my words will fail to do it justice.

I adored the plot elements through which Brunsvold elicits Nikki’s restorative work over the course of the summer – specifically, a seemingly innocuous notebook that turns out to be anything but ordinary and a handful of seemingly innocuous characters who turn out to be rather extraordinary themselves. There is so much to be unpacked around this notebook: the German heritage (and its historical trajectory), the spiritual insight as it relates to hospitality and the home, the recipes themselves (which honestly made me crave German food even though I’ve never liked it lol), and of course what she learns about herself and her family in the process. Perhaps what I craved more than the food was joining Nikki around that kitchen table, digging into her ancestry and the spiritual legacies left to her there. “Family history has a way of putting our own lives into perspective. None of us walk a path entirely of our own making.” It has been very illuminating for me personally to dig deeper into my genealogy and see how the paths my great-great-etc relatives took led directly or indirectly to the one I’m on in my own life. From Methodist church planters to coal miners to Baptist preachers to farmers to soldiers to Shakespeare and everything in between, I am grateful for their stories and how God used them to shape me too.

“Small towns were a trove of plot twists.” And oh what plot twists await in The Divine Proverb of Streusel! For starters, I absolutely loved Nikki’s Uncle Wes. It’s almost as much his story as it is Nikki’s, and I appreciated that while he is gentle and protective and loves the Lord, the author also gave him flaws. Flaws that need mending just as Nikki’s do … just as the farmhouse’s scuffs and wear-and-tear do too, a parallel that I found quite compelling. Wes at first glance appears to be the exact opposite of his brother (Nikki’s dad), and his quiet kindness is exactly what Nikki needs. There’s also a bit of romance with his story arc, and whew goodness I didn’t expect to swoon over him but there is a fantastic scene I can’t wait for you to discover that had me reaching for my fan. Another fave character in this book is Aunt Emma. What. A. Hoot. Her conversations with Wes and eventually with Nikki had me laughing out loud on several occasions, and she has some of the best lines in the book. I’m not even going to spoil anything for you beyond that – you just really need to meet her for herself!

Bottom Line: Life is messy, and The Divine Proverb of Streusel acknowledges this fact with profound grace and thoughtful insight. It’s a compelling story that never drifts into the cliché and is brave enough not to tie everything up with a perfect red bow. Oh don’t get me wrong – there IS resolution and it’s beautifully rendered, but we all know that some wounds cut especially deep and true healing takes time. There is great pain to be worked through on these pages, but there is also great joy to be found, great stories to tell, and great love to embrace. I fell in love with the characters – main and supporting – and I devoured every word as quickly as possible while also trying to savor them at the same time. I was captivated by the warmth that exuded from the author’s insightful and poetic writing voice, and any book she writes from now on will automatically go to the top of my TBR list.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

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This was a very good novel. The characters have depth and are interesting. I would recommend this story to others.

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This story spanned almost 100 years of history in a dual timeline narrative in which a broken woman looks for and receives healing through exploring the past. The story had depth and the characters, both present day and historical, were mesmerizing. It was a very enjoyable read with just the right pacing and a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommend this read to fans of dual timeline fiction.

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Young teacher Nikki Werner is reeling after her parents' divorce. Feeling shaken, she turns to answers within her family tree and visits her grandparents' farm in northeastern Missouri. Though her grandparents have both been gone for years, her uncle Wes welcomes her and sets her up at the farmhouse.

As Nikki helps Uncle Wes go through their ancestors' belongings in preparation of renovating the old home, she's drawn to some German books and a notebook filled with recipes and wisdom that were clearly written with care. When Nikki chooses to spend her summer vacation on the farm, she decides to go recipe by recipe through the book, cooking and absorbing the proverbs of her mothers before her.

This story is full of small town, down home charm, as well as the intricacies of family relationships. As Nikki questions both her past and her future—after all, if her parents' marriage didn't survive, how could she think of entering the state of holy matrimony herself?—she is continually pointed to the Lord by Uncle Wes and others she meets.

I enjoyed this story, which while delving into deep topics is also gentle and calming. The writing style reminded me strongly of Cynthia Herron and her Welcome To Ruby series. My only small complaint about the book is that sometimes going no-contact with relatives really is the healthy and even loving thing to do. When it comes to dysfunctional families, each person must prayerfully decide what is the best course for themselves. If it's healthy for relationships to be restored, that is indeed cause for rejoicing, but it is not possible for everyone.

I'd recommend this for any fan of general or women's inspirational fiction.

I received my copy of this book from the author. All thoughts in this review are my own.

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Some novels that contain recipes read like a cookbook with a short story sprinkled through. The Divine Proverb of Streusel, happily, is not one of those books. I appreciated the focus on the different family relationships in the book, as well as the fact that the main character’s romantic relationship took a back seat to those family relationships. The book is a little more character-driven than I prefer, but the take-away of “Do the next thing” is proving to be something that I have been able to apply to my own life. Overall, a worthwhile read with a solid faith element.

Thanks go to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Not as compelling to me as Brunsvold’s debut, but good just the same. The story of family dynamics and coming to terms with what is rather than what is hoped for. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of the novel.

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I found this story to be quite tastefully written. Not a high level action story, no not at all. But rather, one that draws you in, and then keeps you intrigued as the story line is revealed, bit by bit.

I loved the characters. Down-to-earth. Home town. Realistic. Lots of hurts and pain from the past. Learning how to deal with it in the present. Relevant to almost anyone, I think.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the recipes scattered throughout. They make me want to try them, and I hope to, at least some of them, in the near future.

I liked the focus on appreciating what our ancestors have contributed to our lives, a fact that so many tend to forget in the present day and age.

There's a lot more I could talk about, but really, I would rather you go find a copy of this book and read it for yourself, so you can experience what I'm talking about.

This book is deep and rich. Complex family issues, deeply layered characters, beautiful, homey setting, and rich heritage mixed in. And of course, much more.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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The story thrusts readers into a family that seems to be disintegrating and doesn’t shy away from tough questions and deep emotions. The characters struggle to find themselves and a place of “home.” Faith, family, and heritage all play prominent roles in this gripping tale that slowly works its way into your inner being. It begins as such an ordinary story that gradually becomes quite raw and vulnerable, just like real life. The novel shows how if we remain open, wait, and truly try, healing can come—even in relationships that appear hopeless. The book also contains wise advice penned by a grandmother along with her recipes for good food and for living. Another unforgettable drama from Sara Brunsvold, whose debut novel was one of the best I’ve read. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. #TheDivineProverbofStreusel #NetGalley

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I took me a little while to get into this book, but it got much better from there.

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I found this book surprisingly enjoyable! Like all Christian fiction it is a little on-the-nose, but the characters were endearing, and the plot was believable and well-paced. As a bonus food and cooking is a plot point, and there are mouth-watering recipes sprinkled throughout the text. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a review copy of this sweet, gentle book.

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Wow!! What a powerful story of love, hope, faith & redemption!! I knew as soon as I finished “The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip” that Sara Brunsvold would be a new favorite author of mine, and “The Divine Proverb of Streusel” solidified that fact👏🏼 I absolutely love Sara’s writing style and the rich characters & settings she creates in her stories!!

“The Divine Proverb of Streusel” centers around a broken family full of hurting, broken people who learn to forgive and find redemption in the Lord🙏🏻 The faith content was breath-taking and deeply thought-provoking. This is the kind of story that gives you pause and makes you re-evaluate areas of your life, yourself, and the relationships you have🥹🙏🏻🩷

What I loved most about this story were the journal entries/recipes/Proverbs that were woven throughout the story. Each of these entries contained such profound nuggets of wisdom that I found myself highlighting them left and right!!! Side note: this book definitely gave me a huuuuuge hankering for some German cuisine!! I hope to try my hand at some of these delicious recipes soon😍

Lastly, I just have to say that Aunt Emma was just the dearest, sweetest lady!! Her vibrancy and livelihood absolutely MADE this story🥰 I truly loved her to bits and pieces🩷

Overall, I highly enjoyed this story & found it to be deep and nourishing for my soul🙏🏻🩷

🚨TW: centers around a parental divorce
🚨CW: no language & just kisses!

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Nikki Werner is still reeling from her parents' divorce when she discovers, via social media, that her father has unexpectedly remarried. She is also wondering whether her boyfriend Isaac is the right man for her. Since she is a teacher between school years, she goes to visit her Uncle Wes on his farm. There she discovers her grandmother's old recipes and she begins to slowly learn about her family history ... and the truths her grandmother's memory teaches through her recipes and wisdom.

I wanted to read this book because I was interested in the mention of recipes and family food history. The family's German heritage was also of interest to me.

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a lovely read. Nikki deals with some hard issues and learns about the power of grace and forgiveness. Her wonderful grandmother, even in memory and old recipes and writing from the past, imparts strength and wisdom.

This novel is very well written. I cared about Sara and her family in general - especially Uncle Wes and Aunt Emma. There is a strong faith message through the book. I recommend this novel for fans of Christian fiction, women's fiction, and uplifting storytelling.

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If you ever wonder about your family roots, this book will whet your appetite for more—more connection, more food, more healed relationships. Sprinkled throughout the moving story are some great German food recipes.. Recommended.

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