• The Recipe Box

  • A Novel
  • By: Viola Shipman
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (252 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Filled with cherished memories and treasured recipes, The Recipe Box is a touching tribute to the women and food that unite us and connect our past to the present." (Richard Paul Evans, number-one New York Times best-selling author)

In The Recipe Box, beloved author Viola Shipman spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed. 

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard, cooking and baking alongside the women in her life - including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box. As Sam discovers what matters most, she opens her heart to a man she left behind but who now might be the key to her happiness.  

The Recipe Box is a warm and heartfelt audiobook listeners will love.

©2018 Viola Shipman (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Recipe Box

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

We bake because we love someone

This isn't my usual fare, but sometimes to rest from my special forces, murder mysteries, and sci-fi first loves, I look for recipe stories, you know, the ones that take place in coffee shops, catering businesses, cookie kitchens, or pastry pantries. These usually involve murders the women must solve, and vary widely in quality. This book has no murder, no "action" and yet it was delightful.

This is a multi-generational love story, love for the land, for serving others, for family, for heritage. There is only a little confusion as the story jumps through time to tell various stories, but you can get through it. These are normal, everyday events that all our families have gone through, but are the stuff of lore and love. It ends up being interesting all the way through as you hear how the women of the orchard handled hardships and good times and changing times. And how the recipe box ties them all throughout. The narration is good, and maintains the tone of groundedness. This is well-worth your time, and you might enjoy trying some of the recipes.

If you found my review helpful or provocative, please click "yes!" Thanks.

17 people found this helpful

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Good story!

Living in northern Michigan, I loved this book. I was eager to download it, as I adore stories about the past, and especially about food. I listened nearly straight through. Very enjoyable listen, and the narrator did a great job. My only complaint is that I was hoping for recipes that were authentically "old." They obviously aren't. The very first recipe mentioned for apple crisp called for Honeycrisp apples, which Michiganders know aren't native to Michigan and weren't even developed until several decades later than the 1930s that the recipe supposedly originated. It would have been a better story if the author used real recipes from that generation -- it would have given the novel more authenticity. Still, overall a great story.

8 people found this helpful

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Wonderful recipes

Heartwarming story with delicious recipes.
This is a book I will share with friends and family.

1 person found this helpful

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5/5 a must read/listen to

A trip back to the beauty of Michigan and the life of a young girl who is finding her way. You will love this story.
Applause to Viola Shipman and to Susan Bennett for a perfect narration. 5/5

1 person found this helpful

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Recipes and More

I enjoyed this book once I got into it. Seemed slow at first. I gave it 5 stars because the story was family generational, a New York love story, and a whole lot of recipes. The story is based in Michigan which attracted me as a midwestern girl. I love Susan Bennet’s narration. I enjoyed learning about the apple orchard business and the many recipes the grandmothers put together. A lively book sometimes that made me laugh out loud.

1 person found this helpful

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So good!

I’m from Michigan, so this book sang to my heart. I love the narrator as she captures the characters voices so well.

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Fun family story

I really enjoyed the concept of this story and the family connections over shared recipes. It would be a 5-star book for me if I had connected better with the main character. I found her rather shallow in her confusion about life, but I still enjoyed listening to the book.

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Innocent and Sweet

Just a sweet book with lots of family love. Looking forward to making some of the recipes.

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A recipe for boredom.

I listened for 4 and a half hours and decided I didn't care to hear anymore. It might be going somewhere but painfully slowly. I didn't find the main character sympathetic but pathetic. The story was sappy and boring. Characters were overly emotional and too sweetly sentimental. I'm tired of stories that go back and forth in time and between characters. Just annoying. My first and last book by this author.

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Feel good

I enjoy this book. About the family and recipes. I enjoy every moment of all the love for each other.