Bon Appétit by Sandra Byrd is the second book in the French Twist series. Lexi is an American with a passion for great baking. Her dream is to study in France and become a French pastry chef. She gets her chance when she is accepted into L'École du Pâtisserie, a notable French pastry school. Through a friend, she also gets the opportunity to work at two French bakeries while going to school. The work is hard and the schooling is harder, but all of it forces Lexi to realize how much she needs to depend on God. As her relationship with God grows, so do her friendships in France and her successes.
Bon Appétit is written in simple chapter format, each beginning with a witty quote that relates to the chapter's content. Sandra Byrd writes Lexi's story from the first person, which is a valuable perspective since much of Lexi's growth comes from epiphany. The characters and storyline are familiar, relatable, and quaint. Lexi's relationship with God is characterized by simple everyday conversations showing that God is personal, not remote or lofty. The French words and recipes scattered throughout the story give it an interactive feel.
Lexi is the protagonist: spunky, independent, and determined. Even when faced with rude French co-workers and competing students, she remains compassionate and friendly. Lexi meets Désirée a faux ami--false friend--who is spoiled but under a lot of pressure to succeed. Anne, however, is a vrais ami--true friend--who is working very hard to pay for her schooling and trying to find a job in Paris. She can't go home because of an abusive situation. Dan is a prospective love interest for Lexi back in her hometown of Seattle, while Phillipe is a possibility in France. Phillipe also has a charming and lovable daughter, Céline, whose mother died in a car accident. All of these people help Lexi grow in one way or another, teaching her valuable life lessons.
I recommend this book to lovers of cooking, baking, and coming-of-age stories. The vocabulary of this book requires an audience of at least high school age. -- Rebekah Mosolf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Lexi Stuart is risking it all. Saying au revoir to the security of home, her job, and could-be boyfriend Dan, Lexi embarks on a culinary adventure in France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a pastry chef.
As she settles into her new home in the village of Presque le Chateau to study and work in a local bakery, her twenty-something optimism meets resistance in the seemingly crusty nature of the people and culture around her. Determined to gain her footing, she finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine–as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father, Philippe. Even Patricia, the gruff pastry cook, shows a softer side as she mentors Lexi in the art of baking.
As Lexi lives her dream, the only thing she has to do is choose from the array in life’s patisserie display window: her familiar home, friends, and family in Seattle or her new life in France. Lexi discovers that as she leans more on God the choices become a little clearer– and making them, well, c’est la vie!