Title: Doesn’t She Look Natural?
Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Contemporary fiction, Christian fiction
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
First line: A grieving woman, I’ve decided, is like a creme brulee: she begins in a liquid state, endures a period of searing heat, and eventually develops a scablike crust.
This review was previously posted on my personal blog on May 27, 2008.
Jennifer Graham is a newly-single mother, trying to cope with her new and unfamiliar situtation. Formerly a Congressional aide, she is having a hard time finding a job on Capitol Hill, since her ex-husband still works there. He has left Jennifer for the nanny, and for the first time Jennifer is responsible for the household finances and full-time care of her two sons. She has one son embarking on teenager-dom, one who’s ready to start school, a mother whose heart is in the right place but more often hinders than helps, and no home or financial prospects.
Into the midst of this mess comes the announcement that Jennifer has inherited Fairlawn Funeral Home in a small town in Florida. Jennifer, her sons, and her mom head to the tiny town of Mt. Dora, intent on fixing Fairlawn up, selling it, and using the money to start over again back in Virginia. But God has other plans.
The characters in this book are well-rounded – they each have their strengths, their flaws, and their blindness to their own weaknesses. The relationship between Jennifer and her mother seem especially real, as they try to navigate the boundaries of their relationship. Jennifer needs her mother’s support and help, but she doesn’t need to be mothered. Jennifer is trying to walk out her divorce in the most godly way possible, while her mom sees a future of hurt if she isn’t realistic. Both of these strong women are memorable characters, and I look forward to more of them in the next book in the series, She Always Wore Red.