Three sisters are reunited at the family estate, five miles south of the town called Peculiar. But it is not a smooth reunion. Darley has spent all her life at the aging mansion. She lived her married life there and raised her family there. She is an important person in the community, a member of every committee, and known by every one in the town.
Her twin sister Carley has been away for decades. Carley was somewhat of a Broadway star but now that is all changed. A throat operation gone bad means her career is over. When the mayor of Peculiar invites Carley to come back to her hometown to help celebrate Darley's (and her own) fiftieth birthday, she jumps at the opportunity. Perhaps she will be able to create a new life in her old town.
Their younger sister Nolie has always lived in the family mansion with Darley. Nolie has never recovered from being left at the altar - the man she thought loved her ran off with another woman. Nolie always wears white. And she sews. She sews aprons, scores of aprons, for everyone, for every occasion. And she has a couple of very big dogs.
Into this odd mix comes Erik. Erik was a pastor in a nearby town but was forced to leave his church when his wife left him. With no ministry prospects in the immediate future, he appeals to Darley's generous nature. Finding out that a friend of hers sent Erik her way, she accepts his help in maintaining and repairing the estate.
Life has been pretty good for Darley and Nolie. Erik's arrival brings a mild ripple but when Carley comes on the scene, storm clouds gather. Darley's control is challenged by Carley's suggestions while Nolie just wants her sisters to get along. But there are broken hearts and secrets getting in the way. Will they be able to overcome those obstacles to find the joy and love they had known as children?
Being one of four sisters, I really liked this novel. We had a similar situation when two of my sisters went over seas for decades. When one of them moved back to our home town, it was a bit of an adjustment, to say the least. I can really identify with the struggles the sisters experienced with their reunion.
Angela Hunt is an expert in taking us through growing relationships. This novel will give readers much to think about as they journey with the sisters in their attempts to love when it is not always so easy to do so.
There are recipes and a wonderful discussion guide at the end. Reading groups will have fun making the cupcakes they read about and discussing the book.
Angela Hunt has nearly four million books in print. She and her youth pastor husband live in Florida and have mastiffs, now that the kids are out of the house. You can find out more about her at www.angelahuntbooks.com.
Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of this review.