Member Reviews

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a well written book. This book has an entertaining plot and good character dynamics. I recommend this book. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance ebook. This is my unbiased review.

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Readers who love books that explore family heritage will enjoy this book. When Nikki faces another heartbreaking loss she runs to the family farm, a place she remembers as comforting. Uncle Wes, a quiet, thoughtful man along with others will help Nikki find her way. Loved the recipe book with all the meaningful messages left by her grandmother. Recommended!

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At twenty six Nikki thought all of her dreams had fallen into place with her great job and committed
boyfriend, but her world shatters when her father unexpectedly abandons her family. Reeling with anger
and hurt, Nikki can’t help but project her dad's betrayal and failed marriage onto her relationship with her
boyfriend Isaac, and during what should be a serious conversation about their future, she runs, as fast and
as far as she can go.
Desperately seeking peace and comfort, Nikki finds herself at her estranged uncle Wes’ farm – the farm her
father grew up on – only to find that this refuge could be the place where her hurting heart finds rest and
healing. Nikki discovers that it's her own family story, her ancestry and the memories surrounding her
father’s family home - the Eddner farmhouse - that will transform and renew her. By exploring her culinary
roots through a hand-written proverbial cookbook discovered in a storage box, the farmhouse becomes
her sanctuary during a crucial point in her life where she could either give in to fear and bitterness or
choose to forgive and trust God. As she learns more about the women who came before her, she also finds
herself, discovering a German heritage rich with faith, wisdom and a particular fondness for potatoes!
This is a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness and the power of remembrance. “Nikki realizes how delicious
streusel with a healthy dollop of faith can serve as a guide to heal wounds of the past” (blurb)

4.5 stars!

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I thought the beginning of this book was slow and quite honestly, a little boring. The main character, 26-year-old Nikki, seemed childish. I had a hard time staying interested in this novel. Thanks to the author, Revell, and NetGalley. I received a complimentary copy of this ebook. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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The Divine Proverb of Steusel
by Sara Brunsvold
Pub Date: January 16, 2024
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
One reason I enjoy writing reviews is the pure joy of finding authors and books that I might not come across.
This one is truly a treasure!! From the yummy recipes to the wisdom in the pages I loved this book.
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.
5 stars
I will be reading more by this author!

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After reading The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, I knew I’d give anything by Brunsvold a try; I love the way that she created characters who lived and shared deep, eternal wisdom in entertaining ways. She does that in this next book, too, though with a wider cast of wise characters and with more faults that provide a bit of levity when the heart gets heavy. It’s a tough call, but The Divine Proverb of Streusel tops this short list for me.

The main character in Streusel is an adult, but a young one; not long out of college and still being mentored as a new teacher, and while she’s struggling with really big issues, those are issues that people of all ages can relate. I love the way that this gets explored, and the way that the story keeps getting deeper with time. On the surface, it sounds like it’s about how to deal with a runaway father, and it is. At it’s heart, though, it’s more about how to forgive, how to deal with difficult relationships, how to trust after being hurt, how to give and receive grace, how to be open and hospitable and show love, however much or little you might receive in return.

The recipes that Nikki uses to cook her way through her story are included in the book and are actually family recipes of Brunsvold, and I can’t wait to try a few. So whether you love stories about families, stories about mysteries, stories that will make you cry or those that will have you frantically highlighting all the memorable lines, you need to read The Divine Proverb of Streusel. It’s, well … divine.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

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Divine Proverb of Streusel is a story to savor. From the recipes to the shared wisdom.

The struggle to love the unlovely is real.

But God.

He gives us just what we need to love people. To forgive. To connect.

I was surprised to learn Germans in America lost much of their language and culture due to assimilation pressure following WW1. Wow, we never talk about that.

The food connects us to the story and serves up connection with the characters.

This is a book you will want to read and gift to all your cook and reader friends!

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Nikki is a twenty-something high school teacher. She is spending the summer in her late grandparents’ farmhouse. She finds a handwritten recipe book that includes timeless advice (one might say “proverbs”) about family and hospitality before each recipe.

Besides Nikki, other major characters include her distant, difficult dad, her tenacious mother, and her shy Uncle Wes. We learn their motivations, their past hurts, and their personality quirks. I understood Nikki’s dad’s pain. I felt her mother’s strength. When Uncle Wes read his Bible every morning, I studied along with him, gaining insight.

There’s also a wonderfully eccentric great aunt, Aunt Emma. She is a hoot and gives this serious book much needed comic relief.

Avid cooks will enjoy the recipes included in the story. Nikki tries each recipe, learning her ancestors’ ways.

There’s a romance (maybe two) in the story, but romance is not the focus. The focus is on family, loving the unlovable, and forgiving the unforgivable, all through a Christian point of view.

I loved it!

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The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold is an inspiring gorgeous story about family, choices, heartache, heritage, the healing power of faith and physical and spiritual food.

Nikki and her family are destroyed by the choices of her dad which change their world. In her grief and anger Nikki finds herself at the farm of her Uncle Wes, her father's brother. He is a kind man of few words who lives his faith in God. His wisdom and tender care awakens something in Nikki who is also uncertain in her relationship with her serious boyfriend.

While renovating the farmhouse with her uncle. Nikki discovers old family German recipes with tender Godly instruction. Her connection to her family runs deeper than she ever knew. Not only does she learn to cook and bake but she shares her heart with others through her food. Observing her personal growth is inspiring.

It is refreshing that God is at the forefront in the daily lives of the characters...He is often relegated to the background, even in Christian Fiction. Not here. This is what Christian love in action looks like. As I learned to cook as a little girl the food connection grabbed me, too. So did most of the characters, especially Wes and Joyce. The story melted my heart into a big puddle.

Do be sure to read the author's endearing personal notes. If this book doesn't (re)ignite your passion for God and family (not to mention delicious food!), what will?

My sincere thank you to Revell and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this phenomenon novel. It feels so...personal.

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What a thoughtfully written book, such real, relatable characters. I especially enjoyed dear sweet Aunt Emma and her wisdom; every family needs an Aunt Emma!

The family is dealing with loss, rejection, questioning relationships and life in general; Brunsvold gently weaves so much wisdom throughout. Plus the German recipes are mouth-watering!!

I received a copy of this book from the author through NetGalley and was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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This book is an amazing blend of food, dashes of faith, renewed friendships/relationships, some DIY restoration and a big dose of forgiveness, mixing it all together to create a delightful read.

There are several characters that I connected with in one way or another. I identified with Nikki and her struggle to forgive her father, although my situation was different, I still found and sometimes continue to, find it difficult to forgive those who have wronged my family.

One repetitive phrase that I latched onto from the story was "do the next thing" - when life gets roo hard or messy, I can do the next thing and trust God and His timing, just like Nikki did in this story. The element of faith was woven throughout this story in several of the characters lives. I greatly appreciated this aspect as well.

I really enjoy how the author develops her characters both in voice and description. I can hear their voices in my head helping to identify their ages and common experiences.

I liked the scenes that included Nikki making the new to her recipes from her heritage and in turn, gleaning the wisdom from both the preparation and the written word - or proverbs. I'm definitely going to be trying a few of them myself.

Just to whet your appetite, there are a couple quotes that I'd like to share. There are so many that I appreciated, but here are two that especially spoke to me.
"Family history has a way of putting our own lives into perspective. None of us walk a path entirely of our own making".
" We can trust that contentment can be ours regardless of our circumstances. "

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy redemptive stories filled with nuggets of faith and truth.

I was gifted an e-arc of this book from Revel & NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

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Sara Brunsvold's The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a feast of words, that will appeal to the senses, evoking memories of times past. Following her parents divorce, Nikki Werner seeks comfort and answers at her family's ancestral farm. She discovers some of her grandmother and great-grandmother's books and unearths a heritage rich in wisdom and love.

This story of family warms my heart. I cherished every single word, every emotion and character that found their way into heart. I was enchanted, thinking about the characters even when I wasn't reading the book.

I felt a personal connection to the stories of Nikki's ancestors since they mirror many similar stories of my own German ancestors. With each page read, the truths shared how the past shapes us, but it is our relationships with others and our faith that defines us. As Nikki slowly finds healing through these words of wisdom, she also discovers the importance of forgiveness, not just for the one receiving it but for the one giving it.

The true magic of the story was the feelings it evoked and the joy I experienced reading it. A book for the keeper shelf!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publsiher and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I absolutely loved Sara Brunsvold’s first book The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip which was named a well-deserved Christy award winner recently. This author writes wonderful senior aged characters and The Divine Proverb of Streusel has a great supporting character that I adored. I also loved the German heritage explored and the recipes incorporated into the storyline and included in the book! There is a reluctant romance thread in the story between characters in their 40’s (I’m assuming) that was sweet. I didn’t love the younger main character Nikki as much as the others around her though her character development was satisfying. The story was a little slow and the plot was predictable so this won’t be up on my favorites list with Mrs. Kip but I’d still recommend as a book that I enjoyed. Also kudos to the cover designers – it is gorgeous and very appealing! I received a gifted copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley; I am leaving this review voluntarily as my honest opinion.

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Sara Brunsvold has hit another home run. Her first book The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kipp was so good that you wonder if the next book would be as good...YES! The Divine Proverb of Streusel, though a different story, is just as good!
The DPofS is simply divine! As I read the through the book, I found myself in a small town in Missouri meeting some of the nicest town folk and learning about German dishes (recipes included). Nikki, the main character is dealing with heartbreak over her parents divorce and her own insecurities about her own relationship with her estranged fiance, and a broken relationship with her father. She retreats to the farm where her grandparents lived and her uncle still lives. She finds an old journal/recipe book of her grandmother's. With each recipe comes a saying from Proverbs. Nikki begins cooking through the recipes and finds solace in her grandmother's kitchen. Mix in a little romance, family drama, and faith and you have DPofS!
I loved getting to know the characters; learning about German dishes, and the strong faith element throughout the book. If you have experienced family turmoil or self doubt then this book will definitely be one you want to read. I give it 5+ stars!

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"Do the Next Thing”

What an unusual book! The title was intriguing and I initially envisioned a light-hearted story about baking and surface-level topics. I couldn’t have been farther from the truth!

☕📚 The initial pages brought me right into the pain, heartache, and disappointment of our main character, twenty-six-year-old Nikki, and others that Nikki’s father affected with his bad choices.

WHAT’S THERE TO LOVE? The way faith was woven seamlessly throughout as the only “recipe” to overcome life’s disappointments and emotions that follow. The real German recipes and anecdotes were amazing too. Wes and Aunt Emma were wonderful characters. I want to be Aunt Emma when I grow up! I also enjoyed seeing contemporary realistic issues dealt with realistically - not instantly, but with grace and growth. Oh, and how romance wasn’t the focus.

CAUSE FOR PAUSE? It got a little slow just past the middle of the story and a few of the sayings (not the German ones) were odd. But other than that, I have no complaints.

CONSIDER READING IF… you want a clean, light romance with a modern storyline rooted in nostalgia - longing for and understanding those in the past, and characters that pull you in, while subtly nudging your heart to be open to more grace and more forgiveness for yourself, and the ones that will inevitably disappoint us in this world. Oh, and if you love older women that speak their minds and say very quotable things that stick with you. 😀

☕📚 Thanks to Revell, Baker Publishing, & NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Following her parents' divorce and her father's remarriage only a month later, teacher Nikki spends her summer break at her late grandmother's farmhouse. There she finds her great-grandmother's journal full of recipes and spiritual thoughts. Making the recipes and reading the thoughts moves Nikki toward letting go of her anger. A sweet hopeful story.

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Having read and loved, "The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip" last year, I was very excited to read this new novel by Sara Brunsvold. Contemporary Christian Fiction is not my usual go-to genre (I prefer Historical CF). For this reason, I believe, I wasn't immediately drawn into the story. I did, however, enjoy the words of wisdom and recipes from Nikki's grandmother's notebook. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

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When I saw the title of Sara Brunsvold's second novel, The Divine Proverb of Streusel, I knew I had to read it. The title immediately drew me in, much like The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip did. Even if you've never heard of Ms. Brunsvold before, the title alone is enough reason to read this book. Trust me. You won't be disappointed.

When Nikki Werner's father remarries, it sends her into a tailspin of emotions. Suddenly, she can't trust the man she believes she is going to marry. Obviously, she can't trust her father, who destroyed their family, and so she seeks solace at the one place that seemed peaceful—her uncle's farm in Missouri. As she tries to pick up pieces of her life, she discovers a cookbook passed down through the women in the family and embarks on a journey she never expected.

My favourite line really made me stop and think: "Do you think we should look at people in light of their actions or in light of what they have suffered?” After reading this book, your answer to that question will probably change.

Brunsvold's sweeping prose captivated me with her scenic descriptions and bold storytelling. Touching on subjects of divorce, forgiveness, and faith, the author has wrapped her story around food to make this a delectable book you will want to keep on hand in your kitchen. Why? Because all the recipes Nikki uses are in there, along with words of wisdom, you will want to read them again and again.

I can see just the recipes in this book (along with the words of wisdom, of course) as a cookbook. I can even see myself reading a chapter or two, cooking one of the recipes, and serving it to my family with a healthy dose of faith, prayer, and, of course, butter.

If you like reading life-changing books, you will enjoy The Divine Proverb of Streusel. I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest review.

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What a fantastic book of generational family dynamics! Each generation seems to pass on their struggles and their hurt that they think they are burying when they aren't dealing with it. The author shows how much better things can be when you grow and learn from things. Great read!

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What a heartwarming story of brokenness and forgiveness, I loved it and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. From the first line "The message left little reason to believe Nikki Werner still held significance in her dad's life" to the last line, The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a redemptive story of broken people navigating life and learning to love and forgive from the One who has loved and forgiven us. Beautiful realistic story and honest feelings combine with an unforgettable faith journey.

Nikki Werner is devastated by her dad's affair and the fact that he walked away from her mother, herself and her sister. She has an amazing friend and mentor, and their "gab and grace sessions" have sustained her in her first year of teaching. At the end of the school year, when Nikki learns of her dad's new marriage, she takes off for the family farm on the other side of the state, and takes a complete break for the summer from everything. "Family roots pulled on every human heart, no matter how broken." Her Uncle Wes lets her stay in the farmhouse and help with renovations. He cares about his brother and wants him to be happy and whole. He sees the same bitterness in his niece that he sees in his brother. I LOVE Aunt Emma, she is a hoot. She's the kind of aunt you want in your corner! She encourages Wes to speak the truth in his gentle way to Nikki. He prays for God to go first in this situation.

Nikki begins a search to know her Grandmother better, and many come forward with stories to tell her. "Your Grandma Werner had a saying she loved. She'd say 'Do the next thing.'" This becomes her new mantra. Nikki finds an old cookbook with wisdom and scripture sprinkled within. "The wise listen to those who have already learned and lived." She begins to make these recipes weekly and share them with others. Joyce is her sweet culinary partner and guide.

I highly recommend this beautiful story by Sara Brunsvold!

Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read an early ecopy. All opinions are my own. I can't wait for my preordered copy to arrive for my keeper shelf!

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