The Recipe Box: A Novel
by Viola Shipman
Hardcover- $14.69

"Filled with cherished memories and treasured recipes, The Recipe Box is a touching tribute to the women and food that unite us and connect ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "The Recipe Box" by Silversolara (see profile) 03/20/18

A recipe box for her thirteenth birthday? Is that what Sam really wanted?

Probably not, but it made her mother and grandmother happy so Sam accepted it and made her first pie.

THE RECIPE BOX was a gift no thirteen-year-old wanted, but it was a gift that kept on giving throughout Sam's life.

We follow Sam as she leaves her loving Michigan home and goes to New York to attend culinary school. She was a hit in New York, but her boss was a fake. To her family’s delight Sam decided to come back home.

Sam comes back to the love and warmth of her family and their bakery and orchards. Was she really ready for this? Did she make the right decision by coming back home?

All of the characters were lovable, but Grandma Willo was my favorite as was the story from her youth and her life.

Grandma was simply someone you would love to have as your grandmother because of her positive attitude and attention to making sure her family was happy in everything they chose.

THE RECIPE BOX is a “sweet,” loving read that makes you want to go into the kitchen and be with grandma making the pies and other delicious desserts.

Each chapter was titled with a recipe and inside each chapter we get to join in the family fun and view the ingredients and directions for the yummy food the family makes.

THE RECIPE BOX is for anyone who loves to bake with family, who loves recipes, who loves family history, and who enjoys being in a beautiful setting.

You most likely will shed a few tears not because of sadness, but because of the warmth and love that oozes from the characters and from things they say.

THE RECIPE BOX is a book that is an uplifting, make-sure-you-make-the-right decisions in your life by following your instincts and embracing change.

THE RECIPE BOX was definitely written WITH love and for those the author loves. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review

  "" by dbublik (see profile) 05/31/18

  "Charming and Endearing" by Homewithatwist (see profile) 06/02/18

Our group loved this book. Full of nostalgic moments and descriptive settings of Michigan summers, makes you want to bake and plan a trip to pick apples! I cannot wait to read more from Viola Shipman.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/29/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/13/18

The Recipe Box is a fun, sweet read! It’s set on an orchard and brings you to a place that is comfortable and warm full of apple crisps and cherry turnovers. The Recipe Box is a delicious read!

  "" by pjrossman (see profile) 03/15/21

  "easy reading with no thrills" by ebach (see profile) 02/02/24

My library, the Romeo (Michigan) District Library, has a program they hold every year called "Romeo Reads" in which a book is chosen to be read librarywide, and events around the book's subject matter are planned for two months, ending with an author appearance. This year's book is THE RECIPE BOX by Viola Shipman, the pen name for Wade Rouse. (Viola Shipman is his grandmother's name.) If not for Romeo Reads, I would never have read this book because this author's writing is not for me.

Sam (for Samantha) has always lived in northern Michigan. Her family owns a cherry and apple orchard (with donuts and cider and pies) there. When she is in her 20s, she moves to New York and goes to school there to become a chef. When she finds that life far from home is not as fulfilling as she expected it to be, she comes back.

Shipman is popular with many readers but certainly is not with me. I find his writing too simplistic and his dialogue unrealistic and syrupy. The writing style reminds me of what I read when I was 12 years old.

For that reason, I would have rated the book with two stars. But I give it three because of its saving graces that are probably the reasons my library chose this book: it describes the beauty of Michigan throughout, and the story celebrates life on an orchard/cider mill, which is so like what we have here in Romeo.

If you like easy reading with no thrills and especially if you are from Michigan, you might want to give this book a try. My three-star rating is for my taste and not necessarily for yours.

Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).


Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...