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Just Fine With Caroline by Annie England Noblin

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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.

Goodreads Summary

This book made me want to live in Cold River for a while. The whole town is exacerbating and hilarious. Caroline isn't as used to the town as she used to be and has to deal with more than a few adjustments when she returns to care for her mother (stricken with Alzheimer's). Her father is a doctor and her mother is sick, but her father cannot fix her mother. It's hard to see this author's pretty accurate portrayal of Alzheimer's and its effects on the both the person and the relatives. I felt horrible for her family and for her father for feeling powerless against the disease slowly taking his wife away. 

Caroline's character was frustrating in some parts because she seemed so disconnected from a town that was so clearly reaching out to her. However, I can understand wanting to keep some of your privacy. She was a sweet and good daughter and loyal family relative to her crazy cousin. I loved how many animals factored into the plot (they always make everything better). The pig and dogs are cute! I really enjoyed the writer's warm and comfy writing style. I will definitely be picking up books from Annie Noblin again soon!

4 Stars

Praise for Annie England Noblin
“Readers of Debbie Macomber will enjoy poet and nonfiction author Noblin’s first novel. It’s an enjoyable story full of laughter, tears, and just plain fun.”— Library Journal on Sit! Stay! Speak!

“Noblin’s fish-out-of-water story combines food, family, suspense, and romance into one delightful read. [... ] a comfort read that’s perfect for a summer night. A cozy read that’s full of dogs, romance, and small-town charm.”— Kirkus Reviews on Sit! Stay! Speak!

“Full of southern charm and colloquialisms, Noblin’s first novel explores the curious bond between man and beast. A warm, emotionally grounded story that will delight fans of Mary Kay Andrews and contemporary women’s fiction.”— Booklist on Sit! Stay! Speak!­­

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