Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Elwell Hunt

Five Miles South of Peculiar
by Angela Elwell Hunt
Received for Review
Adult Women's Fiction/Christian Fiction
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.50
Pages: 384

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

If these three sisters don't change direction, they'll end up where they're going.
Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather's legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as queen . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that an unsuccessful throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home. She may not be able to sing, but she hopes to use her knowledge and experience to fashion a new life in Peculiar, the little town she left behind.

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie has never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores. She spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she's created on the estate, but when she meets a man haunted by his own tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

Can these sisters discover who they are meant to be when life takes an unforeseen detour? In a season of destiny, three unique women reunite and take unexpected journeys of the heart.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this book for review from Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for my honest opinion. Big thanks to Howard Books and Libby for this great opportunity. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: The title and the cover of this novel drew me in from the moment I saw them. I love stories that are centered around families (especially sisters). I started this novel with really high expectations. Even though this novel was nothing like I expected it would be like, Angela Elwell Hunt definitely exceeded my expectations for her novel.

Her writing was beautiful and left me in fascination as I wondered what would happen next. The three main characters were sisters Darlene, Carlene, and Nolia. The perspective shifted between the three fairly evenly. However, I felt like Nolia's perspective might have been the one that readers delved into the most. 

Nolia was easily my favorite character. While I did like Carlene and Darlene, I simply loved the way that Nolia tackled life. Like her sisters, she had been dealt bad hands in life and yet she possessed this ability to still love life. She might have been slightly eccentric (think Emily Dickinson, a person Nolia adores and you're right on target) but the best characters always are. 

Carlene and Darlene had a rocky relationship. They used to be inseparable but that was thirty years ago and a lot has happened since then. Both sisters want to reconcile but don't know how. Can they forgive each after fifty years?

The characters in this novel were fifty and thirty. That surprised me and I wondered if I'd be able to relate to them, but I shouldn't have worried. Angela did a great job at creating characters and a plot line that I absolutely adored.

This novel was full of romance, faith, anger, forgiveness, redemption, love and of course second chances. 

Overall this was a novel that I ended up absolutely adoring. 

In Summary: A beautifully written novel that tugged on my heart. Angela Hunt is an author that I know I will be keeping tabs on. Lovely story that I definitely recommend. 

The Wrap-up: Angela's novel left me surprised. It was nothing like I expected it to be and incidentally was much better than I had anticipated. This novel was beautifully written and centered around characters that were lovable (albeit eccentric). Definitely give this one a shot, you wouldn't regret it. 


Danica Page


  1. I love Angela's writing! She always has a way of sucking you into one thing and changing it around when you least expect it.


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