Every woman can identify with one of (or all) three characters in this book. Each one suffers from insecurity in one form or another, and look for security in the wrong places. Ginger thinks it comes from being in control with a plan, the one with responsibility/duty. Penny looks for it in new love and leaving before they leave you. Rose thinks it lies in having children . As they come together they find out that what they believe about themselves and their siblings is not the truth, and that healing comes in places they never thought to look.
I started reading The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt just after breakfast and was done before bedtime (and I worked a 4-hour shift in between). I just could not put this book down. The individual stories of the three sisters had me very distressed and as I kept turning pages, I wished I could put the book down and forget about the heartache they were each experiencing. Impossible! These sisters told stories shared by countless women and it was refreshing to find the characters real, honest and raw in their humanity and struggles. There were no pretty bows tied up at the end of the book, just ribbon and the hope that they each could find a way to relearn how to tie it.
The setting of St. Simons Island provided an idyllic retreat for the reader while it gave the characters the isolation necessary to deal with their issues without distraction. The characters were fully developed and I enjoyed how each chapter was written from one sister’s perspective – you got to understand each of them as individuals and the reasons behind their responses to each other. I am not as big a fan of modern fiction as I am of historical fiction, but found this book a great read. The discussion questions could facilitate deep relationship-building and ministry opportunities with book club members. While this book had many difficult moments, it was well worth reading.
I give this book 5 stars out of 5.
I received this book free from Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Ready to travel to St. Simons Island? Three sisters, Ginger, Rosemary, and Pennyroyal are about to embark on a journey of healing. Their grandmother passes away and leaves behind her home for the three sisters who visited there every summer. Sounds pleasant, right? Not at all. Instead of insincerity, I found more insecurity. We so often want the life of another. The grass is always greener somewhere else. We can even look at our siblings with envy and strife.
These sisters have one weekend to clean out their grandmother's home, take what they would like, and give the rest to charity. They all walk away with money, but they have earned so much more. Something more valuable that anything of material gain. As they have trouble brewing in their marriages, they more so have trouble figuring out just who they are. The tragedy is that theses sisters don't even really know one another. They have been so caught up in themselves that they forgot what's really important.
Angela Hunt knows how to bring life to a story. Within each chapter you get a different sisters perspective on things. You see them travel to St. Simons Island thinking they are there to take care of their grandmother's things, but God has them there for different reasons. In this one weekend, they clean out more than the house. They open up like never before and begin to share. They take a look back so that they learn how to move forward.
What did I like? Well, I like how they all thought they knew what love is. They all three had their own perspective. As we all have our own love language, these sisters finally realize how to love each other and more importantly how to love themselves. It is a journey we should all take. Think your the only one with troubles brewing? We all have them and Angela Hunt brings to light the real issues that touch women and the trials that families face today. We can learn to dig out all that stuff not needed so we can find room for what is most important. Love.
This book was a gift from Glass Road Publications for it's review.
hree sisters, nine husbands between them, secrets and regrets all collide in this riveting novel by Angela Hunt.
This novel deals with a myriad of issues - in fact I was surprised by how thoroughly each of the characters were developed and how vivid their issues were presented. Three sisters raised part time by a grandmother who was married numerous times come together to clean out her house. Little did any of them know that this one weekend would change their lives forever. That for the first time they will be forced to drop pretenses and face the pain of tragedy in their lives.
Ginger thinks she has her life all put together - everything in its place. She sees her sisters as her responsibility - but then why shouldn't she. After her mother's death she was their care-giver.
Penny is the epitome of southern charm and at 49 years old still looks fit and in shape. Searching for love, romance and happiness she changes husbands like she changes shoes - always finding that they just don't fit right. Following in her grandmother's footsteps she justifies each divorce and remarriage. Bored with her seemingly dull husband she is on the prowl again.
Rosie, the youngest of the three is desperately searching for her grandmother's secret for hanging on. A thick impenetrable cloud of despair has beaten her down. She arrives at the cottage that weekend with plans of her own. Detached and set on saying her farewells she spends her time dropping hints to her sisters.
Ginger's life is devastated by a painfully close deception, Penny's version of truth is challenged and she is forced to make a choice, and Rose must finally decide to face her deepest hurt or perish to it.
In their grandmother's album the girls find a truth about God that will set them free from the bondage each of them is tied to.
"I came her hoping to find Grandma's survival secrets. Maybe the biggest of them has been staring me in the face for a long time....."
I received this book from Glass Roads Publication. Special thanks to the publisher, Howard, and Glass Roads Publications for this review copy.
No one writes special twists better than Angela Hunt. Relationships of three sisters are tackled in this Christian fiction novel. Each chapter is written in the point of view of one of the three sisters: Ginger, the first-born organized one; Penny, the flirt; and Rose, the baby, who carries a deep longing. Each sister hides behind some insincerity; all are revealed at the satisfying end.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I love, love, love Angela Hunt! She never disappoints. As a first-born, I connected right away with Ginger; I admired her, and later, I cried with her. Perhaps you will connect with Ginger or with another sister. I'll bet you see a part of yourself in one of them.
This would make a super choice for a beach book, or a book club title. Included is a Reading Group Guide, and with a Q&A interview with the author. I sincerely recommend this book.
Oh what an absolute treat it was to read this book. Following the lives of three sisters who came to clean out the house of their late grandmother. During there three day weekend, we learn many things about each one of them. This book feels real and I enjoyed hearing about the stories of these three sisters. My heart went out to each one of them. Angela really brings her stories to life.. A must read for the Summer..
The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt is an insightful look at the relationships that shape us especially that between sisters. Ginger, Penny, and Rose spent their childhood summers that their Grandma Lillian's cottage on St Simon's Island. Since then, they've racked up nine marriages between them, rivaling Lillian's seven marriages before her death. The three have grown apart in many ways over the years, and are forced to come together to clean out the cottage for its sale. Each woman arrives on the brink of major change in her life (even if she isn't aware of it yet). Penny has decided to leave her husband, Bob, because even though he loves her, he wants a child, and she's already found his replacement. Rose has postponed her impending suicide to spend this weekend fooling her sisters into thinking she's fine, so when she drives off of a bridge they will think it was an accident. Since a miscarriage two years ago, Rose has isolated herself from any joy in the world, including in her relationship with husband, Wort. Ginger has always felt like she knows better than her younger two sisters, especially after she nearly raised them herself after their mother's abandonment. She arrives filled with advice and judgment on their many marriages, but when a phone call to her husband Mike shocks her and shakes her foundations, she is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew. Hunt is absolutely one of the best writers in the business. I love how she never shoves religion on readers. Narration alternates between the sisters, giving readers an inside view into their lives and how they view this weekend of reconciliation. This is a fantastic read about relationships, faith, love, and most of all hope.
Angela Hunt in her new book, "The Fine Art Of Insincerity" published by Howard Books takes us to a cottage house on St. Simons Island.
Grandmother Lillian had a cottage house in St. Simons Island and left it to her three granddaughters, Ginger, Penny and Rose. The sisters were shipped off to stay with their grandmother during the summer months and this place is like a second home to them. However they are all feeling a financial pinch so they decide to sell it and split the profits. So all three of them must travel to their grandmother's cottage one last time to clean it out for the new owner.
Get ready for a page turning, emotional journey. Grandmother Lillian had been married seven times and her granddaughters have nine marriages between them. This book covers a wide range of topics one of them is "generational curses", curses that are passed down from one generation to the next until someone says enough and breaks the curse. This is an important subject as many of us are motivated from "generational curses" and we have no idea. We are responsible for our own actions but when we realize what is behind these actions it is much easier to repent and move on.
Angela Hunt has given us a terrific book in "The Fine Art Of Insincerity". I have never had sisters so I have no reference point but it was fun watching the family dynamic work among them. Each sister tells the story, chapter by chapter, from their point of view and it is fascinating to see how each view their situation. Ms. Hunt has them dealing with divorce, infidelity and suicide. Not topics that you think would be reader friendly but Ms. Hunt is such an accomplished writer this is handled extremely well. If you are looking for a nice summer read where God can show off the power of His mercy and forgiveness then "The Fine Art Of Insincerity" is the book for you.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Glass Road Public Relations for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Three sisters spend a weekend together on St. Simons Island to share the unpleasant task of emptying their late Grandmother's house. The property has been sold and each sister is eager to get the job done and claim her inheritance. While they believe it will be good to get together after such a long time... secrets, resentment, and unforgiveness threaten their already strained relationships. Unpacking the memories their Grandmother left behind, they begin to heal the hurts from the past.
I really enjoyed this story. It was an easy read... only took me two days. Right from the beginning I felt as if I were just sitting and watching a movie. The story is told is first-person, moving from each sister... Ginger, the oldest... Penny, the middle child.... and Rose, the youngest. Although they are sisters, the problems they face as adults, as well as their personalities, are quite different.
I had an easy time of following each sister. Her thoughts and feeling were related very well. I could easily identify with each one... I could feel the emotion behind each of their points-of-view. I love how they come to some great conclusions about themselves... and then use them in a positive way to change the way they relate to one another. It actually made me evaluate myself a bit. I'll be keeping my eye out for the next in the series!
*Thank you, Glass Road Productions, for providing me with a copy of this book and allowing me to be a part of your review program! :)
Three middle-aged sisters spend a weekend at their deceased grandmother's home on St. Simon's Island to clear away years of memories, making it ready for the buyer. Much more than a clean house results from this intense family time.
Ginger is the oldest sister, the responsible one, the choir director at church. She was the one to forced take care of the others when their mother committed suicide shortly after the birth of the youngest. She has everything under control - until she is confronted with the unexpected ruin of her marriage and the accusation that she does not really love her sisters.
Pennyroyal is the middle sister and a restless woman. She has had five marriages and is contemplating yet another divorce. She's met a man she thinks this time might really be "the one" she has been looking for.
Rosemary is the youngest sister and is troubled. She has experienced so much hurt. Her sisters weren't there for her miscarriage, when she needed them. She'll hide the hurt they caused. Even though she loves her husband (her third) she is planning to end her life. She has it all figured out when Ginger's request to help with the house delays her plans. "I'm not out to make anyone suffer after I'm gone," she thinks. "I've done enough of that already." (33) Though she is seven years younger than Ginger, she looks years older.
Each sister has her own memories from the fifteen summers they spent in their grandmother's house. Each had a unique relationship with her. Working in her home brings back the memories.
They are sisters by birth but they are not friends. "Though we are bound by shared experiences, we are separated by beliefs, distance and years. At times the gaps between us feel almost unbridgeable." (136)
As the sisters work through each room, they work through their own lives, the hurt they've caused each other, the feelings with deep roots. Hurt and anger bubble to the surface as the sisters learn how to be friends.
As one of three living sisters (my oldest has died), I found this novel very touching. Each chapter is written in a different sister's voice. As we live the weekend with the sisters we are able to experience the events from each one's perspective. This writing technique adds to the reader's participation in the emotional trauma each sister is experiencing.
While the grandmother was a godly woman, the Christianity of the sisters is shallow, perhaps nonexistent. Ginger appears to be the only church attender. Hunt portrays the sisters working through their issues without relying on God. The sisters do not have a spiritually reviving experience while they work through their issues. So the ending is not a "tidy" Christian ending. While the emotional future of each sister is well developed, their spiritual future is not.
A reading group guide is included.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Who knew unpacking family baggage and all that goes with it could be so fun! I waited in anticipation for this book to come out, and I wasn't disappointed. Angela Hunt excels at characterization and story weaving. While the issues are deep and emotional, these Southern sisters have mastered trivializing each other's problems. In showing how they know each other well and yet never know one another at all, Hunt displays her expertise as a novelist. I won't give away then ending, but Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation. It's a 5 star "must read."
Ginger, Penny and Rosemary Lawrence are all in denial. Ginger is convinced that she knows how to make a marriage work, despite the fact that her husband of twenty-seven years has started getting changed in the closet and hasn’t kissed her goodbye in weeks. Her younger sister, Penny, believes that the perfect way to deal with the lack of romance in her life is to move on to a new man, and is on the hunt for her sixth husband. And Rose still hasn’t recovered from the loss of her unborn child two years previously, but would rather leave this world than ask for help. None of them are aware that they’re heading down the wrong path, and it will take a weekend at their grandmother’s house to teach them new lessons about life, love and marriage. As the memories of the summers spent with their seven-times married grandmother resurface, the girls come to terms with the legacy that their beloved Grandma left them and wonder what they can learn from her life. As the weekend progresses, these three sisters soon discover that they have more to worry about than who gets Grandma’s piano. While Penny is having second thoughts about the new man in her life, a bombshell is dropped on Ginger’s perfect marriage and in the midst of it all, the two of them suddenly realise that something isn’t quite right with their baby sister. Is it too late for these women to realise how blessed they’ve been in life, and that some things are worth fighting for?
From the synopsis and cute cover, I assumed that this would be a light, chick-lit novel. But within a few chapters, I realised that the Lawrence sisters had much deeper issues to deal with than the average chick-lit heroine. I was quickly enveloped into the lives of this dysfunction group of women, all of whom had a lot to learn about love and marriage. Despite probably being her polar opposite, I found Penny the most relatable character. I loved her sassy, Southern flirtations and I could identify with her yearning to be loved and romanced. Although I hope that in twenty-seven years times I’ll be living a similar life to Ginger, living in a nice house in suburbia after having sent my kids off to college, Ginger’s “perfect” marriage didn’t feel right at all and I found myself hoping that she’s be taken down a peg or two and stop judging her sisters long enough to sort her own life out. While I longed for someone to notice that Rose was struggling, I found it hard to identify with her. Maybe it was her obsession with her dog – although I love my cats, I’m really not an animal fanatic – or simply the fact that I found her sections hard to read because of the strange choice in font, but I didn’t feel like I connected with her particularly well.
As the novel progressed, I came to understand the intriguing and heartbreaking legacy that the Lawrence women had received from their family. Their father, mourning the loss of his young wife so soon after the birth of his third daughter, had sent his daughters to live with their grandmother every summer because he never truly recovered from their mother’s death. And the sad truth behind their grandmother’s seven marriages, and insights into the life of a woman who had so many husbands snatched away from her in wars, in an age when women were vulnerable without a man’s protection. This book contained some really fascinating and heartfelt family dynamics. It probably has a thing or two to teach all of us about the true inheritances our families have given us.
Inspirational women’s fiction is slowly growing on me, and while I wouldn’t class this novel among my favourites I did enjoy reading it. The eclectic blend of characters made for a compelling read and I didn’t want to put this book down when I got to the final chapters. I’m a bit disappointed that I never truly felt that I connected with the characters, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying another of Angela Hunt’s books in the future. This is one that I’m sure fans of deeper chick-lit and women’s fiction would appreciate. 7/10