Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dying to Decorate by Cyndy Salzmann

This is the first book I have read by Salzmann and probably won’t be the last. I enjoy her writing style and her characters. The book is chick lit, so written in first person, which I don’t always enjoy. But it worked well here. Salzmann is able to work in more dialogue and information about other characters and scenes than some chick lit writers, so this book isn’t just about the “main” character with her doing all the talking.

The cover says that Dying to Decorate is a Friday Afternoon Club Mystery, which indicates to me that there are (or will be) more books concerning the group of women we meet here. The Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) is made up of a group of girlfriends who get together once a week (guess when? LOL) to unwind and vent a bit. They pray for each other… encourage… exhort… and have a whole lot of fun. Oh yes, food plays a bog roll in their getting together and Salzmann has been kind enough to include recipes with each chapter. I will definitely be trying some of the goodies she has shared!

Lucy is a member of FAC and she is drowning in grief. Her husband is killed suddenly, then her mom dies and her daughter leaves for college. Lucy holes up at home wearing the same ratty clothes, eating junk food (or nothing) and watching Lifetime movies. Not a horrible way to spend a day, but not months! FAC comes to the rescue! Upon learning that Lucy as inherited a pre-civil war home, the group decides it is time for a road trip!

At Locust Hill they find mystery and adventure and along the way God opens their eyes to His truths and teaches that He still has work for them to do.

I did enjoy reading this book and would like to read others in their series… if there are any. I do have one thing I didn’t like and I will share it… but I have to warn that it is a bit of a spoiler. So if you don’t want to know, stop reading now.


OK, here is the deal. In this home that Lucy inherits, they find a secret room and in it an old quilt with what appears to be blood stains on it and some metal they learn is part of an old pair of shackles. Lucy is distraught as she decides her ancestors tortured folks. No one really seems to have any idea what the room was for or why the items are there. Then they are given a journal and over time, as they read, they learn that Locust Hill was a station on the Underground Railroad. Now maybe it is just me, but when I read of the room and the items in it, the first thing I thought of was the UGRR. It seems a bit implausible that grown women wouldn’t think of that… wouldn’t put those pieces together. It didn’t ruin the book for me, but it did seem a bit unrealistic.

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