THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP - Shirley Jump
O'Bannon Sisters Series, Book 1
Forever - Trade Paperback
Dorchester and Boston, Massachusetts - Present Day
Bridget O'Bannon Masterson just lost her husband to a car accident. Numb with the emotional pain, the only thing she wants now is to crawl into bed and stay there forever. Her three year marriage was full of hope and plans, but now, there is only darkness in her uncertain future. The funeral is past her, and Bridget has spent four days and countless hours binge watching television in her bedroom until her mother, Colleen, bursts in and drags her to church. Bridget only ends up running out of the building in tears, leaving her mother to light the candles. But fleeing the church is the least of her troubles. Colleen hosts a dinner party where Bridget drinks too much wine, embarrasses her mother in front of her guest, Father McBride, then leaves, this time, taking the open bottle of wine with her. Hiding in her house two days later, Bridget is sure the bad karma is still haunting her when she finally decides to sort through weeks of unopened mail. With the overwhelming emotional darkness closing in on her faster than she can breathe, she discovers that Jim has left her deeply in debt; bills and mortgage payments are overdue, and there is no life insurance. Suddenly her job at the local paper is not enough.
The family bakery, Charmed by Dessert, was started by their grandmother Gemma, and the business has supported the family through both good times and bad. Like her daughter, Colleen O'Bannon lost her husband too early, but unlike Bridget, Colleen had four daughters to support when her husband died, all of them under the age of ten. Colleen did what she had to do; she simply gave Michael's clothes away and never looked back. Even though she soldiered on raising the girls to young adults, the irony is that twenty years after his death, she still continues to set a place at the dinner table for Michael. Strict to the nth degree, Colleen takes no nonsense from anyone. The four O'Bannon sisters, Bridget, Abby, Nora, and Margaret (Magpie), all worked at the bakery. The girls and their mother were close until Bridget's wedding three years ago when Abby stormed out in anger, quitting the family and the bakery. Now, Bridget is trying to come to terms with the rift, and she's looking for answers. She too, left the family behind, along with her own job at the bakery, but she wasn't angry, she simply followed her new husband's advice. But from this point forward, Bridget is determined to bring all the sisters and their mother back together again, and she has to start with taking her job back if Colleen will allow it.
THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP is the story of a family of women learning to be strong in the face of adversity. Bridget, along with her sisters and her mother, are the central characters, and other faces include a widowed attorney, Garrett Andrews, who becomes Bridget's new friend when she adopts a baby hummingbird, and the O'Bannons' Aunt Mary, just one more person in the family that Colleen has not spoken to in over five years. Bridget is determined to build a new life and uncover every one of the family secrets once and for all, bringing back the unity that has escaped them.
An epic novel, THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP is a delightfully complex story full of togetherness, love, delicious and scandalous secrets, angst, and, most of all, forgiveness. It's all wrapped up inside a wonderful story. THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP is the first novel in The O'Bannon Sisters series. Next up is THE SECRET INGREDIENT FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE, due in March 2018. I can't wait!
Meanwhile, go right out and get a copy of THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP; you will feel right at home inside the doors of the characters' hearts and their homes while you imagine biting into one of the yummy treats they create!