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Five Miles South of Peculiar

Five Miles South of Peculiar

A Novel

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  • customer reviews
If these three sisters don’t change direction, they’ll end up where they’re going.

Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather’s legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as queen . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that an unsuccessful throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home. She may not be able to sing, but she hopes to use her knowledge and experience to fashion a new life in Peculiar, the little town she left behind.

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie has never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores. She spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she’s created on the estate, but when she meets a man haunted by his own tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

Can these sisters discover who they are meant to be when life takes an unforeseen detour? In a season of destiny, three unique women reunite and take unexpected journeys of the heart.
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  • Howard Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439182048 | 
  • June 2012
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Residents of Jackson County, Florida, held their breath the morning of July 3, 1968, when old man Caldwell took to his bed complaining of a monstrous headache. As the clock struck two, he sat up, sneezed, wheezed, and lay back down, expiring before his head hit the pillow. The doc pronounced him at 2:03, then placed a call to the county seat. Someone in the county clerk’s office reportedly clicked a stopwatch and set it in the safe. County officials and city planners nodded to one another with greedy smiles, knowing that Charles Caldwell’s precious estate, known to all as Sycamores, would officially become... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Five Miles South of Peculiar includes discussion questions and a Q&A with author Angela Hunt. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Have you ever lived in a small town like Peculiar? What are some of the advantages of small-town life? Disadvantages?

2. The title, Five Miles South of Peculiar, is literal, intending to imply that Sycamores is five miles south of the town. But could the title also refer to any of the characters?

3. The story is told through the third-person viewpoints of the three sisters—Carlene, Darlene, and Nolie. Could you identify with one character more than the others? Why or why not? Did it help you to be “inside the heads” of all three characters?

4. In most novels, characters begin in one place and end up in quite another, usually the result of changes in their situations and/or their characters. Where did each of these characters begin? How were they changed by the end of the story?

5. Why do you think Nolie asked Henry to invite Carlene to Darlene’s citywide surprise birthday party? Why did she show him that picture of the twins as infants?

6. Would your church (if you have one) hir see more

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