What is the old adage? Don't judge a book by it's cover?
At first glance, Simply from Scratch looks to be a "fluffy" Chick Lit type of novel. That couldn't be further from the truth. Simply from Scratch is an exceptional debut novel by Alicia Bessette about grief, love, and moving on.
Rose-Ellen (Zell) has been mourning the death of her beloved husband for almost four years. He was killed in an accident while on a mission trip to ravaged New Orleans. Since his death, Zell has merely existed. She wakes up in the morning and takes care of her greyhound, Captain Ahab, but that is it. The pain of losing Nick is still so very fresh that anything that reminds her of him has been banished, including the friends they once shared. Until one day, in an attempt to win a baking contest Zell discovers a present that Nick left behind for her, hidden in the one place he knew she would never look, the oven.
That day is the turning point in Zell's grief process. A young girl, Ingrid, invades her life and starts her on the road to healing.
I really enjoyed Alicia Bessette's debut novel. Her writing was so captivating it brought tears to my eyes many times. She brought Zell to life in a way that I actually worried about her, I worried that Zell wasn't eating enough, and the hints about her heart problems was so concerning to me, I could not see where the author was going. Which, honestly, was refreshing. Grief is a very powerful emotion. We all deal with grief in our own way, but those who do not deal with it, as we see with Zell, are the ones at risk of having their grief destroy them. Great book, but be forewarned that it is not a fluffy book as you would expect from the cover.