CarolSue – recently widowed from her second husband, is still sore with grief. Rudderless, she agrees to leave her suburban Atlanta life and return to the home farm in Indiana where she grew up. A life change that at first does not suit her at all…
Her immersion into her sister’s farm life is told with hilarity. Chickens in the kitchen, goats, cats, dogs, and canning…. never-ending canning…Louisa – a widow herself, has also lost her beloved grandson. She works hard on her farm and adores her various animals, especially her cat Marvelle. Recently, she has been distracted from her losses by the attention of the local sheriff, Gus, with whom she takes afternoon ‘naps’.
Gary – Louisa’s son has lost his teenage son due to an automobile accident. His wife has left him and he blames himself for the loss of both his wife and his son. He misguidedly falls prey to a manipulative and unscrupulous evangelist preacher. He starts up a ‘church‘ of his own in a white barn. Naive and easily led, he finds himself in an extreme moral dilemma when he discovers that a baby girl has been left in the church. He takes her to his mother and aunt to care for while he searches for the baby’s mother, an illegal immigrant from Honduras.
This tiny girl, Gracia, will come to alter the entire family dynamic and cause some healing as well as no little heartbreak to those whose hearts have already been broken.
Written with humour and compassion this was a truly enjoyable read. The characters were well rendered and the menagerie of animals added levity to the narrative.
The author has taken some very serious subjects and treated them with respect via sarcasm, humour, and pathos. The story tells of the love/hate relationship that can often be found between siblings. She speaks to the various ways different people grieve and the often misguided decisions they make when they are vulnerable.
An easy read that I recommend to readers who enjoy a good story told in an entertaining way.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Kensington Books via Edelweiss. ISBN: 9781496725677 – ASIN: B082WQZF92 – 224 pages
Lynne Hugo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize and her novel, A Matter of Mercy, received the 2015 Independent Publishers Silver Medal for Best North-East Fiction. She has published eight novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month. Through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program, Lynne has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren.
Born and educated in New England, Lynne and her husband live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area. Scout excels at barking and playing tennis ball shortstop.