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Extended Audio Sample Simply from Scratch Audiobook, by Alicia Bessette Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (492 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alicia Bessette Narrator: Andrew Garman, Jodi Dick, Rich Orlow Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781449843922
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Alicia Bessette writes with compassion and tenderness to illuminate the many unexpected ways people save each others’ lives every day-often without even knowing it. Poignant, bittersweet, and strikingly honest, Simply from Scratch is a radiant celebration of friendship and the strength of the human spirit.

Rose-Ellen (“Zell”) Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick’s camouflage apron even when she’s not in the kitchen. That’s her widow style. It’s been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun to move on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn’t even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick’s chore. That is, until she decides to enter the first annual Desserts That Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to donate the grand prize to Katrina survivors in Nick’s memory.

Meanwhile, Zell’s nine-year-old neighbor, Ingrid Knox, is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet the woman who abandoned her so many years ago. When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, Zell and Ingrid learn that through with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This story of a young widow edging warily back into the world is full of vivid characters and grace. Imbued with hope but blessedly lacking in sentimentality, it is a fresh, stirring take on the devastation of grief and the holiness of friendship.”

    Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together

  • “Newcomer Alicia Bessette has written a love letter of a novel. There’s enough warmth here to fill your house on the coldest night. You’ll wish you knew these people, this world.”

    Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage

  • “In her wise and delightfully fresh debut, Alicia Bessette has composed a tender song that rises through the clouds of loss and grief until it bursts into a joyous celebration of the human heart. To read this story is to embrace life.”

    Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

  • “[A] nicely wrought debut…Charming, with a dash of romance.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/16/2014

    " I loved this book! I found young Zell to be utterly likable, and her New England town populated by people that I wish I knew. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Ehmke | 2/8/2014

    " This book is a little sadder than most that I pick up, but it made me cry the good kind of cry--tearing up a little now and again without any full out crying. It's a tale of endings and new beginnings. I really would give it 3.5 stars. Not the greatest book ever, but I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 2/3/2014

    " This is an excellent book. I really like the way the author showed the many phases of grief in this young woman's life. I think it is a very realistic portrayal of what happens when someone close to us dies suddenly and unexpectedly and leaves a huge hole in our lives. I also like the way the characters are able to finally move forward, a step at a time, towards a brighter future. The whole plot is excellently written. I hope to see more books by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dodi | 12/28/2013

    " A story of healing and hope "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Kay | 11/24/2013

    " This is more like a 2.5, a C+, if you will. Zell is a young widow of one year who is still grieving intensely. She joins forces with her motherless neighbor as they enter a baking contest hosted by the celebrity Ingrid insists is her real mother. I just couldn't feel much empathy for any of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 11/15/2013

    " This book is about a young woman dealing with the sudden loss of her husband and the process of learning to love life again. The relationship that she develops with a new neighbor, the little girl next door, goes a long way toward helping her heal and fills a major void in the child's life, as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy S. | 10/22/2013

    " Great story, great characters. Some of the writing annoyed me (Real time. Real place.) as if wasn't necessary, but still a very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 5/21/2013

    " A cute story that pulls you in because the characters are very real (they're not even all gorgeous!). A light, enjoyable read despite the fact that it deals with some very rough topics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 3/26/2013

    " Good book. A bit predictable but a nice read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/22/2013

    " Cute book. Nothing too exciting. I wasn't fond of the ending, I just thought there would be more to it. Left some things undone in my mind. Glad I read it and will certainly read something else from this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 12/25/2012

    " An aching look at living on the "what if" side of life. I found myself wishing I could help and loving all of the characters. Sometimes sad, but eventually an affirmation of life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 10/9/2012

    " Ehh - I did appreciate the Central MA references. Greendale Mall anyone? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larissa | 2/22/2012

    " The story itself was interesting, the writing was decent (but not stellar). It elicited several emotional responses from me, so judging solely on that basis, I guess I liked it quite a bit. Better than your average chick lit ;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tk0339 | 10/14/2011

    " this was a really nice story about grief and friendship. easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemary | 4/24/2011

    " A lovely book. Well written with characters I wish I could know in real life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 4/17/2011

    " A good read. She did a really good job of portraying the characters emotions. It was interesting watching her heal and overcome what she was going through. It was such a reassuring story and full of hope. I really enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean Marie | 3/31/2011

    " This was a really cute book. Filled with both tragedy and love; a real easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 3/15/2011

    " This was an enjoyable story and quick read. I'd say the author needs to cut down on how much personality she gives her characters. Too many nicknames, sayings, talking like a pirate, etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dodi | 1/13/2011

    " A story of healing and hope "

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About the Author
Author Alicia Bessette

Alicia Bessette is the author of Simply from Scratch. A pianist and freelance writer, she and her husband, novelist Matthew Quick, live near Philadelphia.

About the Narrators

Andrew Garman is a television, film, and voice actor. His acting credits include the film Julie & Julia and appearances the television series Law & Order, Mercy, and Conviction. Among his audiobook narrations are Arcadia by Lauren Groff, Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette, and Love Is a Canoe by Ben Schrank, among others.

Jodi Dick is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette and Call It What You Want by Keith Lee Morris.

Rich Orlow is a film, television, and voice actor. Among his audiobook narrations are The Outsider by Jimmy Connors, House Rules by Jodi Picoult, and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger.