Just Fine With Caroline
by Annie England Noblin
From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.
Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.
As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.
Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.
I figure it’s a little bit like telling Jesus no, you know? I figure he’s got a direct line to Jesus, and tellin’ him no is like punchin’ Jesus in the face.
Reese Graham wanted a woman to stay home and iron his clothes while he had a woman somewhere else to iron, well, other things. Caroline would sooner die.
In one swift movement, Hazel slapped the side of her son’s head so hard that a wad of tobacco came flying out of his mouth and landed in the middle of the bowl of peaches with a sickening plop. ‘Don’t lie to your mama, child… Now yer gonna eat them peaches.’
‘He and his fool headed groomsmen insisted on those camouflage tuxedos.’… Generally speaking, she didn’t mind camouflage. Folks in Cold River wore it year-round. However, there was just something tacky about using it in a wedding. It was like people forgot that camo was supposed to be for hunting. If you are getting married, well, the hunt was over.
This is only Annie England Noblin’s second book – and it was gold. I adored it. It squeezed my cold heart and moved me to blink back tears more than once, but at other times – it also had me smirking and chuckling aloud. I relished it from beginning to end and didn’t want to stop reading this delightful and well-written tale once I picked it up. Written from a third person point of view and packed with clever humor, intrigue, long held family secrets, hillbillies, moonshine, small town small mindedness and gossip – this book was a winner! The writing was well-paced, compelling, moving, and unfailingly engaging from the first page to the last. I was invested in the storyline as well as in the multi-faceted and endearing characters. Some secrets are better kept just that, but when the secret Caroline had been chasing was finally revealed in-depth, it was by the most unlikely of sources and in such a tender manner, I was taken aback. The words stung my eyes and constricted my throat. This author has mad skills! I can’t wait to see what she does next. I was provided a copy of this book by HarperCollins and TLC Tours for an unbiased and honest review, which is exactly what I have provided.
About the Author
Writer. Mother. Wife. Bulldog enthusiast. Curly hair afternoon.