I like to rotate the flavour of my reads, so this Cosy story of a Prayer group with a difference, was just what the doctor ordered after a much more emotionally dense and disturbing book.
Set in a rural town where a group of very different women has grown from the simple premise:- One or Two friends from the church meeting to pray for the needs of the community with a light lunch provided by way of Pot Luck. This simple idea becomes a much more complex affair as they begin include more members, all harbouring secrets or personal trials and all their lives begin to unravel under the all seeing eye of an incredibly nosey and frankly stalker like local hack .
Evie is a Founder member and a bit of a sour puss, unable to forgive a VERY youthful indiscretion by the man who obviously adores her and still not adjusted to the untimely loss of her longest and closest friend. She is not happy about the way the club is growing and the members encroaching on her territory as Queen Bee. To complicate matters her favourite and adored niece arrives on her doorstep with more than a full suitcase.
Lisa Leann is a flashy "outsider" from Texas who is two steppin' on a few toes, with a penchant for cookery as a weapon, whose boring home life ensures she tries to take over every social gathering possible.
Goldie's marriage teetering on the brink of a total implosion.
Donna, the local deputy Sheriff meets a stranger at the diner, whose very prescence in town will have repercussions for every member of the group and a perceived betrayal will leave her wondering just who she can rely on?
Vonnie must come to terms with a tragic loss she's kept hidden from her best friends for years and has been a secret.heartache preventing her from feeling whole almost all her adult life.
Lizzie's librarian eyes are always ready to research a solution to any problem, but it seems unlikely that any of this bunch will sort themselves out without some serious Divine intervention.
I found this a very enjoyable read, a good book to curl up with a decent Cuppa and a blanket over your lap and just immerse yourself for a couple of hours. The characters were human and on the whole believable and had pretty defined personalities. Often with this kind of ensemble piece with a predominantly female "cast" of Good Christians, it is hard to keep characters sepperate until you have learnt their names, but here that was not the case. I do have some minor quibbles, the pre-emptive passage for every chapter with clandestine machinations of Clay the Reporter did not really gel, particularly as the hook of the recipe per chapter was already in place to tie all the disparate voices together, there just did not seem to be any progression with it and it was ambiguous as to what his motivations were. As there are more in the series, I am sure that this may change!
The Christian Elements were subtle enough not to seem like scripture was just shoe- horned in and the timing was rather fortuitous as I intend to source some of the underlying messages to some friends with whom parts of the plot will resonate
Overall a pleasant experience and one that I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a literary hug.