About From Hell to Challah: Rising from Fragile to Fearless, One Grain at a Time:
When COVID-19 hit, Shari Wallack knew it would take a toll on her mental health. A long-time sufferer of generalized anxiety disorder, she also knew her current mix of meds wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the depression she experienced as she watched her award-winning travel business come to a screeching halt. The pain of cancellations and clients demanding refunds, combined with having her adult children suddenly home from college, and a subsequent all-out panic attack resulted in an involuntary stint in a mental health facility. Once released, and not wanting to face the reality of her situation, she did what so many have only dreamed about during the stress of 2020: She ran away from home.
In her hilariously raw and unflinchingly honest memoir, From Hell to Challah: Rising from Fragile to Fearless, One Grain at a Time, Shari takes us on her unusual voyage of self-discovery and healing. With her iPhone filled with personal and professional contacts, a carry-on bag packed with a weekend’s worth of clothes, and plans to be away for a short time, she unexpectedly ends up on a three-month journey across the country. Along the way, Shari experiences life-changing events and creates life-long memories as she charms her way through the kitchens and taste buds of friends, family, and a zany cast of new-found characters. Full of inspiration, passion, and courage, her story is a love letter to anyone who has experienced crippling anxiety, loss, and depression.
“This is my version of Eat Pray Love, COVID edition. Was this journey about baking, self-discovery, facing fears, embracing the strength of human connection, or letting go of the past?” Shari asks. “It was all those things. Part way through the voyage, I discovered that I had always had the power inside of me, like Dorothy, who could have clicked her heels early in the story and gone home to Auntie Em. However, it took ninety-five days for me to be ready to board that plane back to Fort Lauderdale. I realized that I was strong, fearless, adventurous, powerful, capable, creative, and resilient. I just needed a reminder and an outlet. Early in the story, I discovered that if I love and care for myself, I can love others in a healthy way, while putting my anxious energy into cooking and freely sharing my time and talents. I consider 2020 a gift and I am truly grateful.”
“from hell to challah is a shocking, funny, and honest diary of a woman who experiences loss and decides to take a road trip during a pandemic. Shari’s journal captures her thoughts laid bare as she attempts to escape an examination of herself only to discover that road trips aren’t always the dream journeys we imagine them to be. You will howl with laughter and your mouth will fall open more than once at her antics. Through it all, Shari holds nothing back and comes out the other side with a batch of new recipes for life.”- David Quinn, Co-founder of Allrecipes.com
“All it took to send Shari Wallack to 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, Comedian and Two and a Half Men Emmy-winning actor
“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 with her recipes, you’re in for some extra treats.”
– Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and Somebody Feed Phil
Buy the book, and follow the author on social media:
Learn more about the writer. Visit the Author’s Website.
Buy the Book On Amazon.
Visit the Facebook Fan Page.
Shari Wallack started her professional career working for Club Med in New York City, and relocated to Fort Lauderdale, FL, in 1993 to work as an incentive sales executive for multiple cruise lines. The sale of Celebrity Cruise Line to Royal Caribbean International in 1997 led Shari to become an “accidental entrepreneur.” She later founded Buy the Sea, which has become the largest and most decorated cruise and all-inclusive brokerage company in the industry.
Her extensive network in the United States enabled her to take the journey that led to this inspirational book. Shari challenges everyone to do the right thing, put people before profits, never take away anyone’s dignity, and find the humor in almost any situation.
Shari is most proud of her children Rachel and Jake. She shares her time between her home in Plantation, FL, her “retreat” in New York City, her tiny mobile home that resides in Salt Lake City, UT and any cruise ship anywhere in the world.