If you love a book that can have you guessing 'who dun it', while giving you incredibly yummy themed recipes to go with it, and tug your heart strings to near tears, then you are in for a delicious ride in Banana Split by Josi Kilpack!
Once again we join Josi's beloved charcter Sadie Hoffmiller, the heroine of this series, on the paradisical island of Kauai. But, paradise seems lost on Sadie as she tries to dig her way out of a pit of depression and anxiety built over the last year and a half. She's seen too many dead bodies in that time and with a psycopath stalking her its no wonder she's in a dark place. I don't know if Josi's excellent portrayal of a person struggling to deal with these issues comes from personal experience or having watched a loved one, but she does a masterful job of guiding the reader through Sadie's emotional and mental journey without depressing the reader at the same time. Hard to do.
But no worries, even Sadie can't stay in this dark place forever. She seeks professional help after discovering the body of a young mother on an innocent snorkeling trip. A woman everyone is convinced returned to her drug addicted ways just as she was on the cusp of retaining custody of her eleven year old son, Charlie.
Charlie comes to Sadie seeking answers and in true Sadie fashion she finds them. When she finally gives them to Charlie it is truly moving, i.e. I was teary eyed.
I like to think there is a little Sadie in all of us. One who is compassionate, takes action to help someone in need, knows some awesome martial arts moves, cooks like a dream and even gets a little lost sometimes, but knows that when you trust in those you love to support you they always come through.
I have the great pleasure and opportunity of being a test kitchener for Josi. That means my family and friends are guinea pigs for her recipes. We eat them and give feedback to make them better or tell her it is perfect as is. Our favorite from Banana Split is the Macademia Pancakes with coconut syrup and the second is probably the Aloha cookies.
So, are you hungry? Ready to dive into a Banana Split?
What's your favorite pancake recipe?