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Chapel Springs Revival Paperback – September 2, 2014
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With the charm of the Mitford Series, the humor of I Love Lucy, and the heart of Andy Griffith's Mayberry, Ane Mulligan's Chapel Springs Revival is sure to be a hit with fans of Debbie Macomber and Jan Karon. Reading Chapel Springs Revival is like coming home to the place you wish you were from, to the friends you know and love. --Amazon
About the Author
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two very large dogs.
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The daily gatherings at Dee's 'n' Doughs, has you smelling the sweets offered right along with the ladies, and doing your best to resist temptation. Or you could do as dear Claire, one of the creative ladies in the gathering did.
"The next morning, Claire hurried to Dee's 'n' Doughs with her dieting resolve in place. When she opened the bakery door, she wouldn't have any problem. The cotton wads, dabbed with Vick's VapoRub and stuffed inside her nose, should outwit any conniving aromas. Those extra pounds were on their way off her hips and thighs." pg. 22
And then there is Patsy, Claire's best friend, the grounded one in this twosome.
"See the woman couldn't see anything. 'Why won't---' Patsy's foot smacked Claire's ankle again. 'What?' She shot Patsy as innocent a stare as she could muster. 'I was saying why don't we go then?'"
On the way out the door, Claire whispered to Patsy, "You keep rolling your eyes like that and one day they're going to get stuck." pg. 26
As they determine to remake the town to attract more tourists there will be many fun antics these best friends will be involved in. Patsy, always is coming to Claire's rescue until Claire decides to try cooking school on her own. If I were Claire, I would be asking, "Am I on Candid Camera?" If something can go wrong, where Claire is concerned, it will. These fun outings/events will have you in stitches.
"Claire stared at the colorful remains of her prized pottery. "My turkey," she wailed. A turkey clobbered by a turkey. Her wail changed to a sniff and a giggle snuck out her nose. Did she really call Bev a tart? Her lips twitched and a snicker escaped." pg. 118
This book is so much more than just a fun read as real problems are faced: is Nathan, Patsy's husband cheating on her? Is Joel, Claire's husband of many years really the one she should be with? Will her flirting be their downfall?
Will a visiting art critic cause a rift between these best friends?Why won't Patsy's father realize that there is in fact something wrong with her mother, face it and deal with it? What will it take for him to face this new reality? Will Claire be able to cook a rehearsal dinner for her daughter-in-law's mom that will knock her socks off, especially when making coffee is the extent of her cooking skills?!
You will have to pick up the book and see for yourself, but trust me, you won't be disappointed. The only disappointing thing is that the book had to end. Here's hoping there is another visit to this quaint little town, and very soon.
I was given this book by bookfun.org and the author Ane Mulligan in exchange for an honest review. Wonderful first book Ane and I look forward to many more.
"...seems like yesterday we were sharing coffee and formula coupons.” Where had their youth gone? “It makes me think of that song, the one that says something about turning around and they’re grown.” The potatoes blurred. “It’s so true. Our babies are grown, and we’re getting old. I’m not ready to be old,..."
So says Claire to Patsy as the story draws to a close in this sweet story that has been compared to Jan Karon by some reviewers. This is a book about growing old, about the wings we give our children and those we see hovering around our elders.
Patsy and Claire have been friends forever. Both are artists, both are married to home town sweethearts. Both are gossip for the town rumor mill: Claire for her klutsy actions in everything but art, Patsy for saving her and every other helpless soul along the way. Claire is dependant on her loved ones to save her. Patsy can't save everyone, and none more obvious than her own mother, an accomplished artist whose age and actions suggests there may be something other than old age at work.
The faith of the town is lagging, and they take it upon themselves to revive the lagging spirit with paint, flowers and a new outlook. Along the way Claire questions her abilities and Patsy her talent but they never question their faith.
That's one of the wonderful things about this book: the characters, for the most part, have unshakable faith. The ones who don't aren't "bible thumped" by the ones who do. Perceptions and in some cases mis perceptions are noted, accepted and prayed about. There is one scene where a chracter asks if she can pray for another- not publically but privately, and another struggles with his spouse's religious faith when he says he'd really never had one. Faith has a walk as well as a talk, and the characters reflect that grounding.
This is Ane Mulligan's first book. I love the cover art and tried to win a lithograph of it even prior to purchasing the ebook. And the recipes listed at the end are simple, but sound wonderful. If Chapel Springs Revival is any indication, this is an author to watch.