Title: Five Miles South Of Peculiar
Author: Angela Hunt
Publisher: Howard Books
Published: June 5, 2012
Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending to Sycamores, the estate her family has been caring for for almost fifty years. Located five miles south of a tiny town called Peculiar, Darlene has found and married her husband as well as raised a family all on the spacious home that her grandfather left behind. And until her limelight stealing twin unexpectedly returns, she was the queen that reigned over her kingdom, Sycamores.
Carlene Caldwell’s life is thrown into disarray when an unsuccessful throat surgery has ruined her voice and her musical career as a Broadway performer. When she is invited back to Sycamores to celebrate her and her sister’s birthday she decides to take a break from big city life and regroup. Although her Broadway career is over, she believes she can use her knowledge and experience to fashion a new life in Peculiar, her childhood town she left behind. If only her sister seemed to want her here.
Magnolia Caldwell, called Nolie, is haunted by a tragic romance that ended long ago. The youngest of the Caldwell sisters, she’s never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores. She spends her days tending to her gardens and dogs as well as making aprons for the whole town. When a man haunted by his own tragedy comes to Sycamores looking for work and somewhere to lick his wounds, Nolie is starting to see what she missed all those years ago. She now has to make a choice, deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.
Will Darlene and Carlene be able to bridge the gap that separated how close they used to be? Will Carlene end up staying in Peculiar or will he end up going back to the city that never sleeps? Will Nolie be able to embrace the future instead of holding onto the past?
This author is very talented at what she does. She is incredible at family drama and conflict and makes the story completely realistic in the problems that face and trouble sisters as they grow up. Her take on sibling rivalry is also accurate, though extreme. With a sister of my own I read this book and just hoped that what tore apart Darlene and Carlene’s relationship wouldn’t happen to me and my sister. The author, despite not having this happen to her, was fantastic in her portrayal of sibling rivalry.
The author’s take on Nolie’s life might be a bit extreme and unrealistic in my opinion, however, I’ve never had a fiancé go off and elope with a different woman the night before our wedding and just skip town without saying a word to me. So, maybe the author’s portrayal is accurate just an extreme version of it. I do love Nolie’s character, though, her love for her family and her pets is overflowing and the love she puts into each handcrafted apron makes me jealous that she’s a fictional character and I will never be able to own a custom designed apron.
The romance isn’t a huge part of the book, but it’s a sweet one. The changes that occur to both Nolie and Erik is unbelievable, in a good way. It shows that love is sometimes that kick in the pants you need to get out of the rut you’re in. There isn’t a whole lot in the sense of affection in this book, at least until the very end. This romance is unique however and special in it’s own way.
Like I said before this author knows drama. The animosity between the twins is so palpable that it could be cut with a knife. The author was fantastic with it, though, because she correctly portrayed the jealousy and hurt that occurs when one sister is more talented than the other. Also, it’s easy to hold a grudge about things when you’re not close and never talk about it and the author shows that properly. My favorite part about this drama is that it’s not something completely insurmountable and unforgivable and the whole time you root for the sisters to finally vent all their frustrations and misgivings and move on.
Though this book is perfectly written and realistic, it’s not something that I normally pick or read. Though, this is the best one I’ve read of this genre, I still am not a huge fan of this type of book. This book probably isn’t the best book for someone who’s never anything by this author, aka me, but I will read more by this author because of the talent that was prevalent throughout the book.
Overall, a greatly written book just not my type of book. This book is perfect for someone who loves family dramas and probably older readers. I give this book a three out of five.
*I received this book from publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*