Member Reviews

Sara Brunsvold came onto the scene last year with her debut novel that blew me away! Her second is a heartwarming read that will touch readers in the same way!

Nikki Werner has had her world turned upside down after her father left her mother and her relationship with her boyfriend is on the rocks. On break for the summer from her teaching job, she heads to her uncle’s farm to think and figure out the direction for her life. At the farm, she finds old journals and cookbooks from her grandmother that include Proverbs with the recipes. Within these pages and while learning to cook, she finds a way to connect to her past and that helps her see a future that might not be as bad as she expected.

I fell in love with Sara Brunsvold’s first novel and couldn’t wait to read her next. The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a heartwarming story that will give readers a lot to think about. The strained relationship she had with her father hit home for me and made a personal connection for me as a reader. While not every reader will have that connection, there will be something for everyone to gain from this book. I didn’t think this one was at the level of the first but still a fabulous contemporary novel. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy contemporary reads with a lot of heart.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a satisfying journey of identity and family connection. 4.5 stars

Nikki Weiner's life is in turmoil and begs the question, what does a person do when life seems all too much to deal with? In Nikki's case she ran to the past where she hoped to find answers about big life decisions

I really enjoyed how finding her grandmothers notebook provided insight for Nikki, how it had shaped the past and future generations. Working through issues by baking the German recipes helped Nikki understand so much about her family relationships and life too.

Sara Brunswold has once again offered up a soul-searching story that will have readers pondering their own life choices. I enjoyed The Divine Proverb of Streusel so much, how it delves deep into family, forgiveness and faith on the journey to wholeness. I appreciate Revell Publishing making a copy of The Divine Proverb of Streusel available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

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Sigh... this book was a warm hug-or maybe a warm meal made with love.

Overwhelmed by her parents' divorce, her dad's remarriage, and uncertainty about the future in her own romantic relationship, Nikki seeks quiet and refuge in the home where her grandmother used to live, which is now owned by her Uncle Wes. Over the course of a summer, she walks a path of healing through family ties, hard work, and the power of forgiveness.

What I loved about this book is that it portrayed characters with deep faith that felt authentic to real life. They were not perfect, but allowed ancient truth to influence the situations they found themselves in, even deeply painful situations. They modelled traits to aspire to: patience, hard work, rootedness, courage to say hard things, forgiveness, community, and caring for others. Though slow at times, the narrative also unfolded in a way that felt real. Although there is certainly a time for a good page-turner, I enjoyed the slower pace which reflected the pace of healing taking place on the pages.

I also loved the recipes and German heritage portrayed! It would be fun to try a recipe or two in the future.

Thank you to Netgalley and Revell for the advanced review copy. All opinions are my own.

"Family roots pulled on every human heart, no matter how broken."

"No matter how far from ease, a wise woman's heart is betrothed to gratitude."

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Another delightful novel from Sara Brunsvold. This is a story of Nikki, who suffers what can be best described as a relationship crisis - let down by her father, uncertain of deeper commitment to her boyfriend, which opens generational wounds that need healing.

She escapes for a summer break, where there is a charming relationship that develops between her and her uncle, who is a gateway to her discovering more of her family history. The stories are supported by newly discovered old family recipes, with the cooking leading her through her journey of making peace with the past and the future.

It is food therapy, linking the past wisdoms with the present situations. When each recipe was written down it was blended with a key verse from the book of Proverbs. The food and the scriptures minister together, intertwined.

One thing you will always get from one of Sara's novels is a deep understanding of the characters and their relationships, seeing their doubts, fears and motivations as their lives are revealed. She writes in a way that allows the reader to empathise, befriend and by the end you feel they are people who you would really like to have as long-standing friends.

It is a story of how some of the good, wholesome things in life like scripture, family and food, can bring healing to the emotional challenges that life can throw at us. Faith is a strong backbone to this story of healing and reconciliation, inherited from a strong family tradition and ever-present.

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The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold has Nikki Werner looking for a connection to her family’s past. I like the premise of the story. It would be intriguing to find an old notebook belonging to my grandmother filled with recipes and proverbs. I was not, though, a fan of Nikki. I found her immature. She is a woman in her twenties who is a schoolteacher, but she acted like a teenager. Her boyfriend acted juvenile as well. I loved Aunt Emma. She is a lively, spunky woman. Wes was also a good character. I liked seeing his growth and enjoyed his interactions with Aunt Emma. The story moves at a slow pace with it being particularly sluggish in the middle. I like how faith is woven throughout the story (it is never preachy). The development of the characters was good. The plot is predictable (it was easy to envisage how the story would end). The romance between two of the middle-aged characters was sweet (preferred it to the younger characters romance). There are descriptions of various German dishes (brought back memories of my childhood growing up in German Village). I like the fact that Nikki invited people to the farmhouse for them to try out the dishes and it enabled her to learn more about her family’s history. There are aspects of the story I enjoyed and others that I did not. So, The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a mixed bag for me.

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This. Book. Gutted. Me. It had my emotions roiling from the first sentence. I've tried to write a coherent review, but I've got nothing, so here's the best I can do:

It's emotional, heartbreaking, maddening, infuriating, and inspiring.

It's a beautiful story of finding your place in a family you barely knew. Of finding your legacy. Your roots. Your heritage.

That's all the words I have. This story is heartbreakingly beautiful.

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Nikki's life falls apart when her dad, seemingly out of the blue, divorces her mum. The last straw comes when he remarries, and in the shock of it, she leaves everything and flees to the family farm. There she gets to know her uncle and immerses herself in their family history, as part of preparing the old farmhouse to rent. Wes has learned a lot over his life, but realises he still has more to learn. When his little-known niece turns up unexpectedly on his doorstep, he welcomes her in - she's family! - and when she decides to stay for the summer he puts her to work but also sees this as an opportunity to try to fix a little of what is broken in their family. But maybe he needs her as much as she needs him... A summer spent with family and God will change a lot for both Nikki and Wes, not to mention others.

I loved the author's first book so much that I was torn between being eager to read this and not wanting the disappointment when it couldn't measure up! And having read it, I wasn't disappointed (though I think I do still marginally prefer the other - so this is better than at least 99% of the books out there). So what makes it so good? The brilliant writing is a good start, but it's the heart that the book is infused with that really makes it outstanding. It never excuses bad behaviour, but it does point to the need for forgiveness, as well as the value of understanding where a person is coming from (family history/heritage is a big thing in the book, but so is just understanding what someone has gone through in life to make them the way they are). Add in characters that I really connected with and a moving storyline, and you have a book that's well worth coming back to reread. Perhaps the best part of the book, though, was the recipe headers - the old recipes were interesting, but the headers were inspiring and deeply moving. Highly recommended, and I'm really looking forward to see what the author writes next.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

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This book is full of wisdom of the book of Proverbs even amongst pain, hurt and betrayal. This extremely emotional book carries a strong message of faith and forgiveness. "We cannot know what is around the bend. It could be sorrow or joy, riches or poverty, health or infirmity. But we can trust that contentment can be ours regardless of the circumstance." That is a heavy lesson to digest. This was just one of the many messages in an old recipe book that Nikki Werner finds.

Nikki is a teacher who has finished her last day of school. She makes the decision to flee her home for the summer. She even leaves her boyfriend behind. She heads to her uncle's home in the small town of Eddner . Nikki is bitter about many things, but mostly she is angry at her father who left her mother after almost 3 decades of marriage. Her mother is having to leave her home of 29 years because she can no longer afford it. Nikki is beyond angry, and she needs some space. What she finds are boxes full of memories from her grandmother and her family, which is where she finds the recipe book. As she delves further into her ancestry and starts cooking the recipes from the cookbook, she learns valuable lessons of life. She learns even more from Aunt Emma. Aunt Emma is a hoot who travels with her friends everywhere. I loved her. This plotline was so interesting. It was very emotional. Hurt comes in many fashions and fractured relationships are sometimes hard to heal, but this book shows that faith can heal when nothing else can do it for you. It was also a great lesson that we can all learn a lot from our ancestors.

Thank you to Revell Books and NetGalley for this ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I love the way Sara Brunsvold weaves faith in her books. After reading the award winning The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs Kip, I was looking forward to seeing what she would give us next. Well, she did not disappoint.

As summer embarks on the beginning of school break, Nikki Werner finds herself in deep disappointment when she learns of her fathers recent marriage to a woman no one knows. On top of that she finds herself at a crossroad with her long time boyfriend, Isaac. She needs to be rescued. So she starts driving, not really knowing where she will go. She ends up at her family's farm, and decides to stay with her Uncle Wes for a while. With school out for the summer, she starts helping her uncle clean out and remodel the old farmhouse. She finds herself reconnecting with the past as she unearths treasures among the many boxes that have been stored over the years. When she finds an old notebook, filled with her grandmothers German recipes and sage advice, she finds healing of her wounds as she invites people over to taste the many recipes she tries. Her Aunt Emma helps Nikki find her way through her unforgiveness and deep hurts. Uncle Wes, a long time bachelor, is a patient loving person in Nikki's life. With his help, she discovers hope. And the forgiveness through the proverbs and wisdom spread throughout the recipe book.

This is a heartfelt story surrounded by faith, brokenness, family and most of all forgiveness. A clean Christian read that is beautifully written and faith filled.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

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This is a story of heartbreak, heritage, healing, hospitality, and home renovation. And it has recipes that look pretty tasty! If you loved The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, this book by the same author is worth checking out!

Huge Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and enjoy this ARC!

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BOOK REVIEW - The Divine Proverb of Streusel - Sara Brunsvold - 5/5 Stars

THE STORY
It's been too long since I've read a new-to-me author, so this week it's been good to break out and try something new. Everytime I read a woman's fiction story I tell myself this is so good and I should read more women's fiction and then promptly forget once more. I can understand why Sara Brunsvold won a Christy Award for her last book if it was anything like this one. If I had to sum this book up on one word it would be wholesome. This book was just so refreshing to the soul and was like reading a devotional wrapped up in a story. It gave me so much to think about and highlighted areas that I needed to work on my own faith. The story wasn't anything like I was expecting so it was nice to be surprised throughout. I really felt for Nikki and her pain but also loved Wes and connected with his desire to be a help to other people. The recipes were also cool and now I need to try them, fingers crossed they are real recipes!

THE ROMANCE
This is not a romance story so I was surprised by the little romance in it and not for who would have expected. I'll leave it a surprise for you too....

THE TRUTHS
So many to choose from but the one that stood out to me was the constant reminder to not weary of doing good. In this fallen world with fallen people we can tire of doing good. Of being the bigger person. Of turning the other cheek. Of not getting good in return. It's then we have to remember who and why we do good. We do good because Jesus is good to us and we must strive to be like Him, to show the love and mercy to others that He pours out on us!

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I did love this book. I loved the scriptures, the recipes, the wise sayings, the German heritage and the fact that family played such a huge part in this story. The overriding theme of forgiveness could not be missed. But the main thing for me that I could not get past was the relationship between Nikki and Isaac. It was confusing. If their relationship was so close that they were getting ready to be married, then giving each other the silent treatment was not how I felt they would act. It sort of through the whole book off for me.
Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book. The opinions are entirely my own.

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Get ready to feast on The Divine Proverb of Streusel, where Sara Brunsvold serves up a literary banquet that’s equal parts heartwarming and soul-stirring. Imagine a recipe that expertly combines the flavors of family, faith, and culinary wonders. This isn’t your average read – it’s a flavorful exploration of life’s twists and turns. Brunsvold throws a dash of realness, a pinch of anger, stirs in a teaspoon of bitterness, and generously folds substantial portions of faith in the mix. The result is a narrative that’s as delicious as it is profound, leaving readers satisfied yet craving the next chapter.

The protagonist, Nikki Werner, embarks on a soul-searching journey to her uncle's farm, seeking solace from the wounds inflicted by her parents' divorce. What we encounter is a beautifully crafted narrative that delves into Nikki's rediscovery of her German heritage through the pages of her great-grandmother Lena's cookbook.

The inclusion of German recipes and Scripture-based wisdom and application adds a life-changing layer to the story, making it a feast for the senses. The book cleverly intertwines the practicalities of life, the noble role of marriage, and the pressures of assimilation, creating a rich and immersive reading experience.

What truly sets this book apart is its nuanced exploration of forgiveness, healing, and the power of second chances. The characters, especially Uncle Wes and Aunt Emma, are well-developed and serve as pillars of faith and wisdom, helping to guide Nikki through her journey of reconciliation, self-discovery, and living out one’s faith.

The Divine Proverb of Streusel resonates with profound life lessons, urging readers to "do the next thing" and consider the good they can bring to those around them and ultimately the world using God’s Word as the beacon in the darkness. The themes of moving forward, looking back for discernment, and the transformative nature of forgiveness are wonderfully interwoven into the narrative.

Sara Brunsvold's storytelling expertise shines through, capturing the essence of familial love, intergenerational connections, and the wisdom found in God’s Word. The inclusion of the crumb cake recipe in Chapter 34 is a delightful touch that adds a perfect ending to this power-packed story.

In a literary landscape often filled with predictable plots, The Divine Proverb of Streusel stands out as a refreshing and original work. Christian fiction lovers, in particular, will find this book a true treasure, and Sara Brunsvold has certainly earned her place on the radar of readers seeking meaningful and uplifting narratives. Don't miss out on this fantastic read that seamlessly blends heartache, healing, faith, love, and hope.

I received an eARC of The Divine Proverbs of Streusel from the publisher, Revell, via NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review nor paid to do so. This is my honest and unbiased review. My thoughts and opinions expressed in this book review are my own. My review focuses on this story’s outstanding content, ensuring transparency and reliability.

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Such a good story! I especially liked how it ended, everything tied up nicely.
Also, love the recipes!

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Faith, food, and family.

I connected personally with the protagonist on her journey after the divorce of her parents. The questions she has about herself and her relationships are thoughts most of us could relate to no matter the circumstances.

This thoughtful, inspiring read was a breath of fresh air and I would recommend anyone pick up this book.

I was provided an arc via NetGalley.

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“You can either look at what you don’t have and yearn, or you can look at what you have and give thanks.”
“Work-the next thing-and butter conspired to heal all wounds.”
This was a fabulous book with so much packed within its pages: wonderful old German recipes along with sage advice and spiritual lessons.
I connected with the story because it authentically depicted the Lutheran faith and my German roots. The story was well plotted and paced. Nikki was a young woman who had experienced heartache and grew with the example of her Uncle Wes at the old family farm through the renovation of her ancestral farmhouse. She also gained spiritual insight from her Great Aunt Emma through emails as well as from a journal/recipe book written by her great grandmother.
Everything about this beautifully written book was special.
“Stories are the universal heart language. They bring together what is scattered.” “Seems family history is one of the most intimate object lessons we can receive.”
A fitting follow up to her debut novel. I want to read more from Sara Brunsvold.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews and NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

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DNF @ 45%

I feel as though I'm reading a different book than everyone else. I cannot seem to make myself care about the progression of this story 😭 Mrs Kip was my favorite book of 2022. I wanted to love this book as well, but it is just moving too slow for me. There are snippets of beauty, and I'm sure much wonderful truth. But I'm going to have to let it go for now.

I'm giving this a 3 star, because regardless of the ending this is the highest I would rate it just simply based on the pacing of the first half

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To be honest, I really wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but from the moment I saw the cover and read the title, I knew I wanted to read it anyway. Thankfully this is one of those moments where judging a book by the cover absolutely paid off.

This story was absolutely beautifully. What could be better than a story about family, faith and food? It was a bit of a slower paced read than I typically prefer, but I found myself really enjoying it nonetheless. When Nikki finds herself needing a little break from life, she heads to her uncle's farm for the summer to learn more about the family that she really doesn't know much about. While there, she finds a notebook filled with family recipes and words of wisdom. She connects to her family and the community around her as she starts creating these recipes. One of the things that I really loved about this book is that we're not just reading about the dishes she is cooking--- but we're actually given the recipes too! Having German heritage myself, I certainly appreciated that and found a few recipes I want to write down and try with my family as well. While the story itself would have been enjoyable without this anyway, it definitely set it apart for me. I think food can be such a way to connect people, and this book was a beautiful example of that. It definitely touched on some more difficult moments but offered a great message of faith too.

If you enjoy Christian fiction, this is certainly one to check out.

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All opinions are my own.

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"A talented baker employs the pantry ingredients; a wise woman adds a divine one. With every crumble she shakes from her palm she pours a prayer from her lips. Each buttery seed is a petition for the souls who will partake in the bounty of her labor."

Sara Brunsvold weaves pieces of her own life experience into a fictional story that will bless, encourage, and convict us all to "do the next thing." Here are five things I absolutely adored about this new release:

📚 Nikki is an English teacher and a reader. Her desire to seek out stories about her family lead to healing and forgiveness. What at treat to have this book set in familiar territory -- beginning in Kansas City and branching out to the farming communities near Hannibal.

👨‍🌾 Her Uncle Wes is a godly man and a patient, loving mentor to Nikki when she flees to the family homestead for refuge.

🍳 The book Nikki finds is filled with family recipes and words of wisdom like the quote above -- anchored with scripture. Dishes like Hoppel Poppel (Egg Hash) come to life as Nikki works through the pain and confusion brought about by her parent's divorce and her father's remarriage.
Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

⛪ Church community is a key component in Redmont and an anchor of hope for the Eddner family. Worship and fellowship nourish Nikki and Uncle Wes consistently through the story.

👩‍🦳Aunt Emma! She spends time almost daily on the phone with Wes and counsels Nikki via email. What a delightful supporting character! Her bocce ball team is called The Lutheran Ladies of the Lawn (LLL) and they are serious competitors.

I truly did not expect that this second book to bless me as much as The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, but it truly was another amazing read from Sara Brunsvold. Keep them coming!

Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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When I saw Sara Brunsvold was coming out with a new book, I was excited. I enjoyed her first book, The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip and though I did not find this book as enjoyable, I did like the fact that there was recipes in it.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. All words are my own.

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