Kimmie and I visited the library yesterday. My librarian friend and I started up a conversation, and she ended up recommending a series of books to me, called the Grace Chapel Inn Series. I read the first book and was immediately hooked. The story centers on three sisters between the ages of 50 - 65 who love and support each other and get along well (other than disagreeing on how to decorate the inn, and even that is resolved with ease). They start up a Bed and Breakfast in a tiny town called Acorn Hill filled with quirky, lovable characters. The book meandered through it's story line, pointing out wonderful qualities and marring flaws in each resident of the town, including the three heroines. Each person was described in a normal looking way, not overly beautiful, or overly ugly. Not exceedingly handsome or fat or scrawny. They were normal people (which is hard to find in most fiction.) I LOVED THE BOOK, and immediately returned to the library for the next three books in the series. The second book filled me with peaceful joy, just as the first one, but last night I began the third book. Each book has a different author, and I believe this author must not have read the two previous books before scribbling her own. This author, Judy Baer, crashes through the town creating drama where none previously existed. She describes the two older sisters as uptight and mean, while the youngest sister longs for her old life in San Fransisco and wonders if she will ever fit in with her sisters or the town. All of the lovable townspeople have ugly dispositions and no redeeming qualities. The youngest sister is devastatingly beautiful with the body of a teenager, and the two men (suddenly) in her life are incredibly handsome. The townsfolk, in addition to their radical personality changes, are also either fat or scrawny or ugly in some way. The youngest sister is not only beautiful and misunderstood, she is also angelically good to everyone around her. She rescues a homeless man, a stroke victim, and a small child as well as saving the inn from financial ruin, while cooking superb chef-style meals, growing award winning garden flowers, starting her own side business of designing and selling jewelry, and unraveling the mystery of her dead mother.

I read the first 20 pages or so with growing dismay and forced myself to read the next 50 pages. Finally, Kimmie asked me why I continued torturing myself (and her, since I kept exclaiming over how Judy Baer has ruined the town). I have never, EVER, in my entire life quit on a book. Even when I hate them, I have to read through to the end to see if somehow the author can redeem him or herself. I hate to put a book down in relief that the writing is finally over, but this book was so horrible in comparison with the first two, that I wanted to cry. I finally decided to skip to the end and read the last 30 pages. Of course Judy's version of good triumphed over Judy's version of evil, and the youngest sister learned to smile at people who hated her and turn to God for help in trouble (which I am definitely NOT knocking), but the book left me with sadness for the older sisters and town residents who could do nothing to defend themselves against the slander on their characters created by Judy Baer.

I plan to begin the fourth book in the series tonight, and I frantically hope that the fourth author has read the first two books and has chosen to stick to them.
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1 Response
  1. liz rice Says:

    hey missy, If you are looking for an adventure, come to Idaho and have a look around. It is a good place to raise kids. liz


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