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Book Bytes Blog

Read news, reviews, and articles about your favorite Christian authors and their newest books.

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Paula Friedrichsen is a writer and speaker who lives in Central California with her family. She is also the author of The Man You Always Wanted Is the One You Already Have.

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Book Review: Spaghetti for the Soul by Kathy Troccoli and Ellie Lofaro

Spaghetti for the Soul: A Feast of Faith, Hope and Love
WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 978-1400071623, 224 pages

Abondanza! Two Italians from Brooklyn—Grammy-nominated singer Kathy Troccoli and acclaimed author and Bible teacher Ellie Lofaro—offer spiritual comfort food in their new book Spaghetti for the Soul. Drawing upon their shared Italian roots and Christian faith, Troccoli and Lofaro urge readers to partake of the abundant life that God offers.

Spaghetti for the Soul is written by two immensely likable, completely unaffected, and delightfully candid women. They share biblical insights, heartfelt personal experiences, delicious recipes (more about that in a minute), and adorable anecdotes. The book has a nice rhythm and easily flows back and forth between Lofaro and Troccoli.

Spaghetti covers many subjects that are close to a woman’s heart. I cried when Kathy wrote of feeding orphans in India, but a few pages later I found myself giggling as Ellie shared her secret to being happily married to her husband Frank all these years (it has something to do with her being gone almost every weekend of the year). I marveled at the story of Ellie’s broken back, and was deeply touched as Kathy shared about her recovery from bulimia and depression. But in my opinion, the most powerful section of Spaghetti for the Soul is found in chapter three where Troccoli and Lofaro write about how to share Christ with others. 

"What powerful billboards we can be for a risen Savior. But how will they know if we don’t care enough to share? We realize that in these days when tolerance is one of our society’s highest values, it has become fashionable to be intolerant of those who want to talk about their faith. But God’s love working in and through us compels us to share our faith with those whose souls are hungry for truth.

"For example, I (Ellie) once searched out a funky art studio near the harbor of historic Alexandria, just south of DC. I was there to have a broken but valuable glass sculpture repaired by a master artisan. As he administered fire, water, sand, and chemicals to my prized piece of glass, he told me his story. He’d been a struggling artist for many years until he created a shrine to the “Glass Goddess” in his backyard. He leaned a bottle of gin against the handcrafted idol and “soon learned that she was a party animal.” He told me he replaced the gin bottle every month, and the studio has increased in business ever since. And I shouldn’t share my story?

"On a two-hour flight I found myself next to a young man covered in piercings and tattoos. When I sincerely inquired as to the meaning of some, the nineteen-year-old gladly described for me his convoluted, narcissistic, hedonistic, white-supremacist worldview. And I shouldn’t share my story?

"A friend introduced me to a beautiful and intelligent woman who enjoys all the trimmings and accoutrements of suburban life. Or does she? After several social encounters, it became painfully evident that she was gripped with fear, feeling trapped in a loveless marriage and resorting to harmful habits to numb the pain from living a masquerade. She sincerely hoped her husband would have an affair so that she could leave and feel exonerated. She stays because of the kids. And I shouldn’t share my story?"

As I read that section of Spaghetti for the Soul I realized just how difficult and complicated we sometimes make evangelism. But just sharing my story? I can do that. Anybody can do that!

Okay, as I mentioned above, the other great thing about this book are all the mouthwatering recipes. Although I admit it was a bit strange to be in the middle of a story about, let’s say, the traumatic death of Kathy Troccoli’s mother, only to turn the page and find a recipe for Pia’s Polenta and Vegetables… Yet, the Italian recipes sprinkled throughout Spaghetti for the Soul are a perfect fit for this sometimes quirky, sometimes hilarious, always interesting book (and speaking of Pia’s Polenta and Vegetables—I made it and wowed the family with my authentic Italian cooking!).

Book review by Paula Friedrichsen. Paula is a writer and speaker who lives in Central California with her family. Visit her Web site at www.PFMinistries.com.

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Until next time, Happy Reading!

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Monday, November 10, 2008 9:01 AM

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