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Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.

 

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake - Celeste Fletcher McHale

Rarely do I just start reading a book knowing so little about it, and then to find it this surprising and compelling turned it into a 4.5 star (or 9 tissue) read.  Celeste Fletcher McHale took me on a roller-coaster of a ride with this tale of three lifelong friends in a small southern town.  What starts out as a story of a wife whose suspicions about her husband's fidelity lead to her and her friends hiding her own indiscretion from him, turns into a tale of love and friendship that had me laughing and crying in turns.

 

This is a story about small town life in the South, where everyone know what you are up to - sometimes before you do - and a man from Mississippi is a 'foreigner.'  It's about friendship and devotion.  It's about Sunday morning Christians facing life's difficulties and those difficulties challenging even those with strong faith.  It's about a marriage.  It's about love, jealousy, suspicion, emotions and circumstances that get out of hand with help from alcohol, infidelity, other misguided decisions and their consequences. And it is the story of the difficult year in which Carrigan, the narrator, becomes less self-centered and selfish. 

 

Excellent storytelling combined with laid back pacing, the writing is deceptive in the best way.  Even when not much seems to really be happening, it keeps you reading to find out more.

 

If you like stories about internal struggles, about marriages going through difficult times, small town life, "chick lit," or about friendships, then give this a try.  I recommend it.  If this type of story appeals to you, but you normally would not read Christian fiction, I highly recommend that you give this a shot - it is a bit "edgy" for Christian fiction and may surprise you.

 

My full review can be read on my WordPress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-HL

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in
Advertising.”