16 July, 2017

A year between friends: 3191 miles apart by Maria Alexandra Vettese & Stephanie Congdon Barnes

With a simple design and elegant lines this delightful book caught my eye as I browsed through the shelves. I’m not usually one who makes her own soap or tie-dye clothes for that matter, but for some reason I felt compelled to read and find out. Perhaps it was the friendship that was being celebrated and shared that sealed the deal.

Maria and Stephanie began their friendship a decade ago when they embarked on a year-long project together, posting a photo from each of their mornings  on their blog, 3191 Miles Apart, the distance between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon. A year between friends delves into their most recent project from the year 2015. Organised into monthly chapters we see into the private lives of these friends and share their joys, heartbreaks, and triumphs. Readers get to enjoy handmade crafts, seasonal recipes, notes on simple living, daily inspirations, and almost 400 photographs.

I enjoyed it all; especially their personal stories which were filled with snippets of wisdom, love, loss and new life. The joint portrait of these two inspirational women in this book offers more to readers than your average craft book. We see into their lives through the lenses of their cameras along with their letters. We share their triumphs and tears. And mostly, we get a glimpse into the strong bond of friendship between them. What captivated me the most were the delights of motherhood both women shared.

Readers who are after inspiration to start living a simpler life, a recipe on making fabulous scones, mending a sweater or making a mobile from a cherished collection will greatly enjoy this read.

Title: A year between friends: 3191 miles apart
Author: Maria Alexandra Vettese & Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Recommended by Surani R, Waitakere Central Library, Henderson.
Surani R enjoys reading biographies, travelogues, some non-fiction, and loves fiction that makes you laugh out loud. She also finds comfort in children’s fiction with thought-provoking stories.

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