Monday, June 4, 2012
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Several years ago, one of my friends loaned me her set of Hunt's Heirs of Cahira O'Connor books. I loved them! Since then I've put a post it note on my brain to read more of Angela's books, but it wasn't until now that I've done so. I really connect with her writing(with a couple of exceptions in this particular book).
Although Five Miles South of Peculiar has many different stories going on, they all revolve around the Caldwell sisters. Carlene and Darlene are the 50 year old twins.
According to Peculiar, Carlene is famous. Right after high school, she left her family, friends, sisters, and boyfriend to make it to the "big time" with her beautiful singing voice. Many years later, after 3 failed marriages and an ended career, she's making her way back to Peculiar.
Darlene is more down to earth. She can make a mean cupcake! Since her beloved husband passed away, and her children have moved away, it's just been her and Nolie in their big house.
Nolie(short for Magnolia) is the youngest sister by 10 years. Bless her heart, she completely won me over. She's very much attached to her routine and rarely ventures out except to hand deliver the aprons she enjoys making and giving away. She doesn't drive, except for her bicycle. She always wears white, and loves her Leonburger dogs. It's briefly mentioned that she might have Autism and/or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
There's many things that remind me of The Mitford Series. I remember reading Karon's series straight through and cooking more than normal. There's lots of food mentioned throughout the pages of Peculiar, too. Reading about all those desserts sure doesn't help sugar intake! ;) There's not quite the variety of people that I remember in Mitford, since Peculiar mainly focuses on the Caldwell sisters, but it does have an overall feel of Mitford, though.
I didn't overly like some of the turns that were taken toward to the end. About 20 pages from the end, I just sat and cried in disappointment for one of the characters. It broke my heart! That said, it's still a beautiful novel, because it's real, unfortunately. I want so badly to explain myself more, but I can't without spoilers.
Reading Five Miles South of Peculiar only proved that I need to pick up more of Hunt's novels.
*I do want to make note of something just in case that might keep some of you from reading it. One of the main characters is a divorced man. His wife left him, because she discovered she wasn't cut out to be a preacher's wife. They divorced. This man does develop a relationship with another woman in the story. So, you can take what you want from that.
**A huge thanks to Howard Books for my review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.