Book Review: Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt

Residents of Jackson County, Florida, held their breath the morning of July 3, 1968, when old man Caldwell took to his bed complaining of a monstrous headache. As the clock struck two, he sat up, sneezed, wheezed, and lay back down, expiring before his head hit the pillow.   ~opening paragraph, Five Miles South of Peculiar

Darlene, Carlene and Magnolia Caldwell grew up in their family’s estate near Peculiar, Florida.  Darlene raised her family there while Carlene left for fame and fortune on Broadway.  When a doctor botches Carlene’s throat surgery, ending her singing career, she returns to Peculiar.  Darlene, however, is less-than-thrilled to have her attention-stealing twin sister back in the house.

As the summer passes, the sisters must deal with the hurts of the past and their dreams for their futures.  Erik, the pastor-turned-handyman, finds healing for himself while providing sound advice to the sisters.  Slowly, they restore their relationships with each other and chart new courses for their lives.

I’m a longtime Angela Hunt fan, and Five Miles South of Peculiar didn’t disappoint.  Darly, Carly and Nolie each have unique personalities and unique problems they must deal with.  Like Angela’s last novel The Fine Art of Insincerity, this is a novel about sisters, but at Sycamores, the Caldwell sisters have more than a weekend in which to sort out their relationships.

My favourite character in the novel was Nolie.  She’s the youngest sister (ten years junior to her sisters) and, at forty, has never left home or gotten married or done anything other than raise her dogs and sew aprons for all the neighbours.  Yet Nolie has a deep wisdom and a beautiful way of looking at life.  There were moments in the book when I connected with each of the sisters, but Nolie was the one whom I most wanted a happy ending for.

For more information about the novel, visit Angela’s website. 

This book was provided for review courtesy of Glass Road Public Relations.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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