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Extended Audio Sample Simply from Scratch, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Dodi | 12/28/2013

    " A story of healing and hope "

  • > Show All
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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 Narrator

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.