I received a review copy
The national bestselling author of The Sister Season shares a new novel about a woman who discovers the spirit of the season is truly in the giving….
With the holidays around the corner, empty-nester Bren Epperson realizes that for the first time in decades, she has no large family to cook for, no celebration to create. So she starts teaching a holiday cooking class, and it’s a hit—until Virginia Mash, the old lady upstairs, bursts in complaining. Rather than retaliate, Bren suggests that the class shower Virginia with kindness—and give her one hundred gifts. So they embark on the plan to lift a heart. Along the way, amidst the knitting and the making and the baking, they’ll discover the best gifts can’t be bought and family celebrations can be reborn.
Empty nester Brenda “Bren” Epperson is struggling with how to fill her time over the holidays. Her daughter now has her own live halfway across the world in a foreign country and her son has decided to backpack across the world rather than get a college education. With so much time on her hands, she finds herself caught off guard with an offer from Paula – owner of a new business in town, The Kitchen Classroom. When Paula tells Bren that she needs someone to help share recipes (or perhaps teach strangers how to cook), Bren is hesitant at first, of course. But when Paula throws in the fact that this is the beginning of a new friendship more than a business partnership, how can Bren say no?
Virginia Mash is grumpy and old. The only “friend” she has is her dog, Chuy – and she’s perfectly ok with that. She hates where she lives, she hates her neighbors, and she hates the local donut shop, The Hole Shebang, that she shares a building with. The sweet shop is on the main level of her apartment building, and she just gets irritated smelling all that sweetness on a daily basis. Not to mention the people! This is HER home – there’s no room for donut customers and sugary scents! Imagine her frustration when she finds out yet another business is opening next door that is sure to attract even more foot traffic to her neighborhood.
When Kitchen Classroom opens, Virginia…well, she just isn’t happy about it, and vows to make it so difficult that the classroom will surely go out of business. Bren looks a little deeper to find that what Virginia really needs is some love and friendship in her life. When the classmates decide to shower Virginia with kindness, will they be able to show her just what she’s really missing in her life?
The Hundred Gifts is a great story of how a little bit of kindness goes a long way. It’s also the story of friendship and love. There’s a wide range of characters that I found enjoyable – every girl needs a fun group of girlfriends, and the group grows closer as the story progresses.
I love books that are seasonal – and this was the perfect read for me at the beginning of the holiday season, but I definitely recommend it for anytime of the year. This is one of those books that you want to read and then pass along to your other girlfriends who read, too.