Five Miles South of Peculiar, by Angela Hunt (Howard Books, 2012)
Twins Carlene and Darlene celebrate their 50th birthday during this story, and younger sister Nolie is in her forties. Each woman’s life has been shaped by past hurt, whether inflicted or received, intended or imagined. And as the back cover says, “If these three sisters don’t change direction, they’ll end up where they’re going.”
Angela Hunt does an amazing job of bring three very different and yet believable sisters to life, and while there may be moments you want to shake some sense into each one of them, you’ll appreciate each one as well.
The story is set in a sprawling home near the fictional town of Peculiar, Florida. As Nolie says about small towns: “there’s not much to do, but plenty of people to talk about you when you do it.” [p. 288]
Five Miles South of Peculiar is an engaging read. While we may not have the same secrets, longings or hurts that the three sisters carry, it may help us see areas in our own lives where change would be healthy. And isn’t it encouraging to know we’re not “stuck” as long as we’re still alive?
The novel’s secondary characters include two Leonberger dogs, a large breed I’d never heard of. (My spellcheck hadn’t heard of them either, but Google has.)
Angela Hunt is a Christy Award-winning author and sought-after writing teacher who writes both contemporary and historical women’s fiction. Her current series is the Dangerous Beauty series about women from the Bible: Esther, Bathsheba and Delilah. Read her story of how she came to write Five Miles South of Peculiar on her website.
[Review copy from my personal library.]