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Doesn't She Look Natural (The Fairlawn Series #1) Paperback – August 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (August 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414311699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414311692
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

When Jennifer Graham learns she has inherited real estate in Florida, she never imagines it is a funeral home, especially one in need of so much repair. Thomas, Jennifer's husband, recently left her for their nanny, and she is at a crossroads in her life. A newly single parent with two boys, she sets off to settle her uncle's estate and sell the Fairlawn Funeral Home, but things don't go so smoothly, and Jennifer may find that this new life God has thrust upon her may be the answer to her prayers. Award winner Hunt's latest book (after The Elevator) is a topnotch inspirational tale that maintains a lighthearted touch. Anyone who has had to rebuild a life after an unexpected loss will appreciate the honesty of Hunt's characters and uplifting plot. Highly recommended for CF and women's fiction collections. -- Library Journal

From the Back Cover

How do you live when God asks you to bury a dream?

Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a Virginia senator, quits her job after her divorce—and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will uncover mysteries of love and life.


More About the Author

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children have reached their twenties, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards--one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she's not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her web site at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gayla M. Collins VINE VOICE on July 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jennifer Graham's hubby abruptly annouces their marriage is over. Impetuously, Jenny packs her bags and two boys to move to an inherited piece of land that boasts a Herculean rundown mansion, once a funeral parlor. YIKES, not what they were expecting. Without the recourse to move back to Virginia, Jenny decides to make this enormous "Fairlawn" into a bed and breakfast. Many events impede this endeavor including that 12 other owners of B&B's in this small tourist town are NOT amused and less than inviting to her plans.

An elderly employee who has obligations to fulfill promised pre-paid funerals resides with the Graham family working in the confines of the funeral rooms. Curiosity drives Jenny to peek, watch him, and become fascinated. Soon she is doing a great deal of the work, and Fairview Funeral Home rises from the dead.

Many plotlines of other characters, the deceased, and the children, keep a spirited plotline flowing.

This is a Christian offering, but not in the least bit preachy. Also it gets rather graphic about how bodies are embalmed so if you are very squeamish be warned. I am, but my fascination with the story kept me going.

This will be a series. I recommend this read and hope you all find it as interesting, amusing, and intriguing as I did.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Anderson VINE VOICE on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jennifer Graham never expected to be a single mom, but that's exactly what happens when her husband leaves her for their nanny and serves her with divorce papers. Left reeling and clinging to a faint hope for reconciliation, she quits her high profile job on Capitol Hill in order to re-group and care for her two sons. While the divorce is being finalized, Jennifer and her boys move in with her mother -- a temporary fix that puts additional strain on their already often-volatile relationship. When the job hunt yields no leads, Jennifer is thrilled to learn that a great-uncle she never knew existed names her as his sole heir. However, when the inheritance turns out to be a dilapidated funeral home, and the prospects for flipping it with a profit on the real estate market are nil unless she undertakes major renovations, Jennifer's life takes a turn she never saw coming.

Though the cover has a wonderfully retro, chick-lit feel to it, the first Fairlawn novel is anything but easily dismissed "fluff." Doesn't She Look Natural? is a completely engrossing novel, the poignant and often funny story of Jennifer's journey to yield her will to God's greater plan for her life. She's an entirely relatable heroine -- a believer whose life has gotten so busy she's forgotten how to be still and listen for that still, small voice of God. Every character and relationship in this novel is so well-drawn they practically leap living and breathing from the page. Hunt outdoes herself in the creation of Mt. Dora -- the town and its people possess an undeniable quirky charm, but they never fall into the realm of caricatures. And Jennifer's rather prickly relationship with her mother is one that I think will ring true for a lot of women.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Arrington on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Only Angela Hunt can write a book about a funeral home and make me love it! Somehow she managed to make me laugh out loud while touching my heart with the celebration of lives well-lived. The characters are so real - Bugs, the adorable five-year-old that I just wanted to give a big squeeze; Clay, the temperamental teen; Joelle, caught between love and patience; and Jennifer, the newly-divorced Mom who keeps facing her obstacles head-on with energy and determination. The descriptions are delightful (crème brulee for a woman spurned, Clay the living "dead", Biddie, the 110 -year old who wants kazoos at her funeral...) I loved them all. Angela Hunt takes the craft of writing to the highest level and with over 100 books in print, I can count on many more enjoyable hours of reading!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Mentor on February 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I usually love Angela Hunt books, but this one's a clunker. The author clearly intends us to root for Jennifer; however, while I did get a smile or two out of the down-to-earth way she refers to her feelings toward her ex-husband, a greater part of her "introspection" turns out to be whiny and exasperating after awhile.

The sad part about this book is that the fundamental premise, the reason this woman is scrambling so badly, is because of something she did to herself. I even went back and reread the beginning, thinking I'd missed something; she's portrayed as "losing" her job, but in fact, she QUITS her job. Someone referred to her as being "forced out" because she was a "liability to her employer"...but I found no such rationale. She mentions that it's embarrassing to work in the same circles as her ex--and the next thing we know, she has no job, no prospects...and seemingly no clue until it's way too late that no one will want to hire the ex-wife of this charmer who's dumped her and moved on. All of this made me wonder just how clueless this woman was in the first place.

Sure, an employer can make life hard for you, or embarrassing, or whatever--but Jennifer has children to support, something way more important than worrying about whether she's "become a liability" to anyone. We're supposed to believe she's worked in the power corridor of America, and yet simply because things get uncomfortable, or embarrassing, she gives up her job without a fight?

I was willing to give this story the benefit of the doubt, even suspecting that the heroine had done something incredibly stupid to put herself in trouble--until I began reading further and discovered that the story gets told not from one point of view, or even two, but from seemingly everyone's.
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