Friday, June 21, 2013

Literary Friday- Barefoot Summer Plus A Recipe

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I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party  Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.  This week the book I will be posting a review is Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery.

 Barefoot Season (Blackberry Island, #1)
This book is about two young women who were best of friends prior to their senior year in high school.  The two had a falling out and have to depend on one another to succeed later.  

Michelle Sanderson is one of the main characters.  She is returning to the Blackberry Island to her Inn to claim her inheritance (the Inn) and recover from her injuries she endured during the war.  When she arrives she finds many things have changed, the Inn itself has been remodeled and the owner’s suite is being occupied by the woman she hates second most, Carly Williams.  Michelle finds her mother (the person she hates most) has changed the Inn in so many ways, changes she does not care for.  She finds out the woman had no business sense and spent way too much taking out two mortgages to make the remodels all to keep a man there longer for her personal needs.  Michelle has so much to battle, healing from a hip replacement from being shot in action, fighting to keep the bank from taking her Inn, finding out the one lady she thought she could trust the most was stealing from her, finding the person she resented was actually someone she could trust.  Instead of dealing with what she went through while in the service she turned to drinking.

Carly Williams is the second main character.  She is a single mother and thought she was working for part ownership of the Inn.  When Michelle's mother dies, she found out that her mother had no right to even state this because she did not own the Inn, it was Michelle.  Carly was under paid and had no money.  Her husband left her when she was pregnant.  Carly loved the Inn and has great customer service with the guest. They just love her. She looked out for the best interest of Michelle when it came to the Inn.  She missed the friendship she once had but has problems trusting her and forgiving her.

What tore the two friends apart began when Michelle's father and Carly's mother ran off with one another.  Carly and Michelle's mother blamed Michelle who caught them having an affair but she never shared it until after they ran off.  The final act to end the women's friendship was a man.  Both women cared for the same man.  He used them and Carly felt that Michelle was going to win him if she did not give into his pressures.  She lost her virginity and ended up getting pregnant.  The man then planned to marry Carly and do the right thing, however shortly before the wedding, Carly caught Michelle in bed with her fiance.  He tricked Michelle into believing it was over with Carly and he wanted to be with her.  Michelle had no idea Carly was pregnant.  Carly's daughter seemed to soften Michelle's heart.  Michelle saves Carly's daughter's life towards the end of the book.

The story we see their struggles with one another as well as relationships with men.  It is hard for them to trust once again.  Eventually the two women realized they needed one another and could rely on each other.  They also became friends and when they really thought about it, they realized they were step sisters since their parents ran off with one another and married each other.  They find love and happiness keep the Inn.  This story is based upon a true island which near Puget Sound in the state of Washington and a tourist spot.  I found the story drug at first but it ended getting better.  I am not the type for romance novels but this was a decent one.  There were a couple of parts in the book which was, oh how should I say it ... hot... but it was not heavy through out the book and done tastefully.  I ended up enjoying the book.  I did not like Michelle at first but the author did a great job explaining everything where I ended up feeling sorry for her and actually liking her.  Of course, I am leaving out so many details because I do not want to spoil everything for you if you chose to read the book.

The book provides a couple of recipes as well as a link to where the actual Inn is located.  One can find a map there and plan a trip.  The book also has questions for a group if you were to chose this book as a book Reader's Group.  The recipes in the book look very interesting and I was thrilled to be able to actually make a recipe from the book. It also provided a web link for more free recipes by joining the Members Only area at Alright, the book I own is on my NOOK, the actual book I do not know if the links are included or not, I hope the recipes are though.

Helen’s Chicken Salad


4 cups cooked chicken, diced
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced apple
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 T of mild vinegar (rice wine vinegar is great)
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper


Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store works great in this salad.  Just take off the skin and finely dice the chicken or you can cook frozen chicken breasts.  The best thing about these sandwiches is that they’re easy to make.  They can also be pretty healthy if you use fat-free cheese and fat-free mayonnaise.  (*NOTE from me, not the book: Remember fat free will add sugar (carbs), you need to keep this in mind if you are watching your carbs.)

Assemble all ingredients.  I went down the line of ingredients and mixed each item as I added, to make sure everything was evenly mixed.  Add your chicken salad to your favorite type of bread.  The Blackberry Island Inn uses focaccia bread, but Helen’s fabulous chicken salad tastes great on every kind of bread.    (*NOTE from me, not the book:  I could not locate focaccia bread at all, we ended up using the flat round sandwich bread for less calories and carbs.)

We actually loved this Helen’s Chicken Salad and I think it taste great without any bread.  This will be a great light meal during the Summer.


1 comment:

  1. This is one of my very favorite things in the world...when a book includes recipes! It really enhances the whole experience of reading a book, I think! This one sounds pretty good, Jolene (both the recipe and book). I love chicken salad made with pecans. YUM!

    I've put it on my library wish list.

    Thanks for linking-up!



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