about the book
In from hell to challah, Shari shares her inspiring, funny, and uplifting story through despair, survival, and mental emancipation during the chaos of 2020. Shari's journey begins inside a mental hospital and continues on a trip to eighteen destinations throughout the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic. Shari details her innermost thoughts, hopes, and fears while illustrating how she went from crippling depression to joy over a three-month period.
Along with a multitude of colorful characters, Shari navigates an exciting and unusual voyage of self-discovery and healing. Among the useful lessons she learns along the way, she discovers that cooking and baking calm her. She provides the recipes that helped her through her struggles, with the hope that others will find the same much needed comfort. Shari’s heartwarming and humorous story from despair to joy shows that happiness and purpose can be found even in the most difficult of times.
illustrations by lindsay rosenthal
"...a dollop of self-discovery and painful truths...”
“Shari Wallack packs more than a dollop of self-discovery and painful truths as she rises from complete despair to a more realized soul. Her harrowing and ultimately redemptive journey about family, faith, and friendship, follows her wrestling with her past and nurturing the good and bad memories to make a more authentic and enlightening future. With honesty, grace, and without shame, Wallack shares a very personal yet universal story about mental health and the power of nourishing yourself.”
– Kevin McCollum
Four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway and Film Producer
"...an eye for the details that make life worth living."
“Shari Wallack is a wonderful and charming writer with an eye for the details that make life worth living. During this lost year, comes a stirring, heartfelt, and funny story of how you can be found. And if her included recipes are as good as they look, you’re in for some extra treats.”
– Phil Rosenthal
Creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and Somebody Feed Phil
"Both hilariously raw and unflinchingly honest..."
"All it took to send my friend Shari Wallack for a stint at a mental institution was an alarming cascade of life crises and one very minor worldwide catastrophe. Once sprung she found herself on a spontaneous cross country road trip to find peace of mind through food and friendship. Both hilariously raw and unflinchingly honest, her book 'from hell to challah' shows how with hope, challah, and help from a handful of red cardinals, she rediscovered her reasons for waking up in the morning. It’s a joyful journey worth taking!”
– Jon Cryer
"...Woven together these stories created a poignant tapestry of healing, love, and hope."
“Despite experiencing dark days, Shari Wallack found the strength to grab flour, yeast, eggs, and other unique ingredients to bake challah. Each braided Jewish bread lifted her spirit and the spirits of family and friends who enjoyed her handiwork. With every challah came a story. When woven together these stories created a poignant tapestry of healing, love, and hope.”
– Rabbi Andrew Jacobs
Ramat Shalom Synagogue