This story is so unique. It starts out hilarious, sucking you in with the witty internal dialogue from Liz--the main point of view character--when she refers to 'the hag' in her that's dying to be unleashed. Then the story transitions to the women's Friday night club group and their concern for their dear friend Lucy who is in a total funk and depressed (and for good reason.) They rally to cheer her up and part of that is through helping her renovate a home she recently inherited. With that home came intrigue found in the pages of a young girl's diary during the era of slavery and the Civil War. This story held my interest and I must say I hated it when the story ended. I want the author to write a historical now about the content in that awesome diary. That was some great stuff! In addition, though the story ended sooner than I'd hoped, it ended on a positive and uplifting note, making me a guaranteed fan of the author for years to come. She really knows how to draw the reader into the lives of the characters. Oh, and if I were a culinary woman, the recipes are to die for. I think I'll lend them to my husband as he's the chef in the family, and more than one concoction within its pages has piqued his interest. I highly recommend this novel. I hope to see a sequel in the future. There is so much potential for more drama with this incredible cast.
Liz Harris and her friends, Jessie, Marina, Mary Ann, Kelly, and Lucy, initially form the Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) to keep the hateful hag that resides in each of them in check. When Lucy loses her husband to a freak accident and her mother dies soon afterward, she goes into a tailspin. Her once-strong faith in God weakens, and she falls into depression. Then the FAC decides its time for a weekend trip to help Lucy renovate the Civil-war era house she inherited from her mother. The women are prepared for leaky pipes and rotted wood, but when they find a hidden prison room behind one of the old house walls, they get more than they bargained for. Lucys aunt gives her a journal found in the house years earlier, and the FAC members are soon reading it aloud between bouts of redecorating. The journal unravels the houses mystery, and brings a new realization of Gods love to each of the women. Cyndy Salzmanns debut novel is a light, enjoyable read that includes scrumptious-sounding recipes the FAC enjoy preparing and eating. The story provides surprising food for thought about civil disobedience. Nice interjections from the old journal, Lizs regular narrative, and Lizs newspaper column all contribute to the richness of the tale. Lizs metamorphosis from super woman to real woman in her newspaper column made me realize its okay to be who I am, and not pretend to be super woman, as I am wont to do.That said, I did encounter a few challenges with this book. First, after an opening chapter that had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, the remainder of the book just didnt deliver at the same level. Salzmann has the potential to write a screamingly funny novel, as evidenced by Dying to Decorates first few pages. Id love to see her tap into her superb sense of humor consistently in her next book.Second, some leaps of logic in the characters' actions puzzled me. These issues aside, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one
What can beat a mystery story that not only keeps you laughing out loud but is interspersed with to-die-for recipes? Dying to Decorate, Cyndy Salzmanns first novel, and the first book of the new Friday Afternoon Club Mystery Series, combines both. Salzmann has a unique voice--and an attitude any mom can relate to. Her observations on life, parenting, and friendship will keep you smiling, nodding with agreement, and turning those pages. And the recipe that begins each chapter will tempt you to race to the kitchen to whip that delectable dish up for dinner. And there's the dilemma--read the next chapter to find out what happens or try out that luscious recipe? Either way, this book is going in the kitchen on my cookbook shelf where it'll be close at hand! Bravo, Cyndy! Can't wait for the next one in the series--but first I HAVE to try Drucillina's Death by Chocolate...!
What a treat! This is a peek into the lives of a group of women who get together every Friday afternoon for fellowship, fun, food and plenty of laughter. When one of the group inherits a run-down house, we get to peek back in time when they find a hidden room complete with shackles and bloodstains. And best of all, there are yummy recipes throughout the book - I've tried out two of them already!
Cyndy Salzmann has written a clever and memorable book--with recipes to boot. The recipes introduce each chapter and are cleverly woven into the story. I can't wait to try them! The story is intriguing, and I appreciated Cyndy's attention to historical detail. I can't wait to read the next in the series!