• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 11, 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.
Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Harper Collins for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for my honest review of it.
Just Fine with Caroline is the second book I have read and reviewed from Annie England Noblin. You can read my review of her debut novel here: Sit! Stay! Speak!
This book is about Caroline, a young woman who finds herself back in her hometown working in her family’s shop and taking care of her mother who is struggling with Alzheimer’s and her adorable, deaf dog Yara. Though not what she had initially envisioned her life to be like, Caroline is content in the town where everyone knows your business and newcomers aren’t exactly welcome. But Caroline soon finds out that even small towns have their secrets.
I really enjoyed this book and the feel of the setting. I love the small town vibe and the secrets that lie beneath the surface, in the history of the people there.
What I loved most about this book were the many characters involved in it. I thought they all had such vibrant personalities and individual histories. It was fun to see them interacting with each other and to learn more about all of their lives and how they intertwine. The small town setting where everyone knows everyone was really fun, I just realized that I am a fan of books that are set in this type of setting. It made the book feel familiar and somewhat cozy to me.
I’ve said it before and I will say again, put a dog on the cover or in a story and you will have my heart. I am such a sucker for this type of marketing lol. I can’t control it. I am definitely a sucker also for how the author writes dogs in her stories. For me, this story was centered more on the people in the story though while her debut novel featured a dog that was more of a prominent character in that story so I guess I was expecting the dog in this one to be a more prominent character as well. But that’s okay, I still really really enjoyed this book and am giving it a four star review. It’s official, after two hits with me I am a Annie England Noblin fan and am looking forward to reading more in this series and just more of her writing in general. She is an ace at lovely, contemporary stories that are at the same time cozy and thought provoking. She usually deals with heavy subjects in her books but manages to also keep the story light and fun with some really good romance. Check this one out!
About Annie England Noblin
Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.