Title: Just Fine with Caroline
Author: Annie England Noblin
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow; Oct. 11, 2016
Source/Format: Publisher; Galley
Twenty five year old Caroline O’Connor is doing just fine. Four years ago and two semesters shy of her college degree, a little thing called life upended her carefully laid plans to leave small town shenanigans behind, and she found herself right back in the place she vowed to escape: Cold River, Missouri. Helping to care for her mother ailing with Alzheimer’s, and coping with her father—the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife—Caroline’s only escape are the hours she steals away at the local fishing hole. That is, until her secret retreat is discovered.
Noah Cranwell has a chip on his shoulder. Seeking solace from his nomadic career in the Navy, he returns to his boyhood home, the one place he ever felt at peace: Cold River, Missouri. Focused on repairing the family’s general store, and his heart, Noah finds himself drawn to Caroline—and her mostly deaf, three legged dog Yara—for support. Soon their relationship starts to blossom into something more, making Caroline realize there could be much more to life than being ‘just fine.’ Yet Cold River isn’t without its closeted skeletons and sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home...
Praise for Annie England Noblin...
“Readers of Debbie Macomber will enjoy poet and nonfiction author Noblin’s first novel. It’s an enjoyable story full of laughter, tears, and just plain fun.”— Library Journal on Sit! Stay! Speak!
“Noblin’s fish-out-of-water story combines food, family, suspense, and romance into one delightful read. [... ] a comfort read that’s perfect for a summer night. A cozy read that’s full of dogs, romance, and small-town charm.”— Kirkus Reviews on Sit! Stay! Speak!
“Full of southern charm and colloquialisms, Noblin’s first novel explores the curious bond between man and beast. A warm, emotionally grounded story that will delight fans of Mary Kay Andrews and contemporary women’s fiction.”— Booklist on Sit! Stay! Speak!
Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin has a serious tone as Caroline is tasked with helping her father take care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. It was a story centered on the lives of several characters and takes place in a small town with small town values where everyone knows everyone; yet, there are secrets that won’t stay buried as the story unfolds—Secrets that resulted in Caroline questioning everything she believed to be true.
I liked the fact that Noblin included real life issues in the story, which resulted in tremendous character growth in the end. Noblin excels at depicting the relationships between the characters, which was everything from the bonds between family and strained relationships. She also does a good job of depicting the emotional turmoil felt by Caroline, a young adult, dealing with caring for her mother while trying to navigate life.
Overall, I enjoyed Noblin’s style of writing. She managed to set up mostly plausible situations that resulted in an engaging story that had me rooting for the characters along the way.
I received an ARC of Just Fine with Caroline from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
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