Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home by Jessica Fechtor


Title: Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
Author: Jessica Fechtor
Copyright: June 23rd 2015
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Format: ARC, review-book, e-book Pages: 288

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The beauty of reviewing for publishers is that I can select books that I think I would enjoy reading. When I saw the description for this book a few months ago, I knew it was a book for me. As I am getting older, I am finding I am focusing more energy on my health and what I put into my body. This book sounded like a remarkable true story that I felt might inspire me to continue to strive towards health.

What I found out was I quickly fell for the format of this book. Jessica oh so nicely weaves the most scrumptous recipes into her story that it seemed natural.  I found myself anxiously waited to see what yummy recipe she would share at the end of each chapter. It seems so fitting that her book would do this, for you instantly see the importance food, family and friends play in her life. At such a young age, she really seems to be wise beyond her years. She didn’t allow this awful event in her life to prevent her from seeing a new path and embracing it.

Being sick is suppose to come along with grand realizations about What Really Matters, but I don’t know. I think deep down, we’re already aware of what is important and what’s not…. we know. We just forget to know sometimes.

She talks about how near death experiences force us into a state of what she calls aggressive gratitude and how the big and the small come to the forefront and we are just grateful to be around to experience them. It reminds you to be in the present moment. This not to say that she had no worries which are from the past or future. But that we are meant to work through things while still being present.

Her descriptions of her interactions with food whether preparing a meal or hosting friends at her home for dinner, were Zen-like. She truly is in the moment of the experience.

I feel inspired by her to recapture my love of cooking and baking. I think somewhere between drop off, pick up, homework, and all of the other day to day things I have lost my joy with food preparation. While doing my recent cleanse, I felt a bit of that spark only for it to back away again now that I have completed the cleanse. This book pulls you into the present and makes you re-examine yourself in the process. It does a lovely job of exploring  her beautiful relationships with friends and family while keeping me the reader fully engaged.

I managed to copy several recipes out of the book and will definitely giving them a try.  Here is a list of a few that caught my eye:

  • Kim Boyce Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Louise’s Applie Pie
  • Whole Wheat Banana Bread
  • Italian Prune Plum Tart

Jessica has a well established food blog that I implore you to visit. You won’t regret it. Her blog is called Sweet Amandine

I really enjoyed this book and think you will two. I am giving it 4 1/2 butterflies. I hate that Goodreads doesn’t have half stars so I was forced to give it 4 stars there. I think this is a great book that explores many topics and leaves you feeling filled with joy.

Happy Reading!




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