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Recipe for Joy: A Stepmom's Story of Finding Faith, Following Love, and Feeding a Family based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Blending families Recipe for Joy is a book about family—several specific families. The first, introduced in the prologue, is that of Ken and Grace Heigel and their three young children. We accompany them through four years in which Grace was diagnosed, treated for, and eventually succumbed to cancer. The second family is that of Robin Davis, a dedicated career woman whose view of her parents’ marriage convinced her to remain single and childless. The third family, the main story, is made up of Ken Heigel; his three children, Ben, Sarah, and Molly; and Ken’s second wife, Robin Davis—the stepmom. The book is divided into seven chapters named for elements of a meal: the toast, appetizer, soup, and so on. The food theme is a natural for Davis, a professional food writer, and host of a weekly cooking segment on local TV. She begins each chapter with a couple paragraphs on the topic. In The Toast, for example, Davis gives a little history of toasting and describes her young nephew’s fondness for “clinking” sippy cups and saying “Cheers.” The toasting chapter, like the others, ends with a recipe—in this case, pomegranate cocktails. Early chapters focus on some career/family decisions Davis makes that result in a move from San Francisco to Columbus, Ohio, where she met Ken Heigel. As Robin and Ken grow closer, they slowly integrate the three children into their activities and later also incorporate extended family on both sides, including Grace’s parents. They marry about four years after Grace’s death. The heart of the book lies in the meaning of family, parenthood, and relationship with God. Davis places special emphasis on step-parent issues and reaching out to children through celebrations around meals. Recipe for Joy ends six years after Ken and Robin married. The eldest child, Ben, is a lector at his high school Baccalaureate Mass. As Robin tries to evaluate her part in helping Ben prepare for adult life, she describes him as smart, God-loving, and kind. “Despite wounds to his heart at such an early age, despite being given an inexperienced stepmom who stumbled more than she flew, he had turned out just fine,” she writes.