I love stories that feature locales and characters that are just a little off the beaten path. Cold River, Missouri, the Ozarks, and the ‘hollers” is an interesting destination and the characters are certainly quirky.
However, do not be fooled by the charming cover expecting this story to be an easy, light, and humorous chick-lit. The story hits on some heavy topics, like domestic abuse, Alzheimer’s and emotional family secrets.
The story is told from Caroline’s first person perspective. I enjoyed her perky, practical personality, but her resignation in regards to her family life built an aura of sadness around her too.
The secondary characters, are well drawn, especially Caroline’s cousin, who exhibited the telltale physical and psychological scars acquired from her troubled life, but was often the life of the party.
Despite some rather depressing themes, the book isn’t heavy at all, although the book does suffer from tepid dialogue, at times, and not enough going on between big revelations to keep the reader engaged.
However, there are some old family secrets that are brimming underneath the surface, which peaked my curiosity, as well as some heart tugging drama and situations, with a few humorous moments sprinkled in, an adorable dog, and a charming romance that takes Caroline by surprise.
The story sets the stage for future installments, which could be interesting.
I enjoyed “Just Fine with Caroline” well enough to continue on with the series to see how it fleshes out from here.
Overall, this is an enjoyable novel. I recommended it for fans of chick-lit, women’s fiction and contemporary romance.
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.