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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown

From Sourcebooks:

Everything is calm in town until Great-Aunt Agnes declares war on Violet Prescot, the president of the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society, the very elite ladies society club that all ladies—young and old—hope to join. Agnes’ niece, Cathy, just so happens to be engaged to Violet’s son! Meanwhile, Cathy, along with her twin sister Marty and their best friend Trixie are busy running Miss Clawdy’s Café, the highlight of the Jubilee. Add to the mix Darla Jean, a former madam-turned-preacher running her church out of an old gas station, the devious Anna Ruth, secret romances, sabotaged cakes and the wedding of the century… There’s a cast of a delightful and quirky characters, moments of true poignancy and the hottest jalapeños in all of Texas at the heart of this fabulous new story.

My Thoughts:

The small town of Cadillac, Texas sounds just like what I imagine small towns to be:  
  • People who grow up together and remain friends for life, 
  • Society clubs who are always run by the town “Queen”  who is always a piece of work 
  • Fairs and parades that everyone goes to
  • A general feeling of content and happiness with a slower pace of life than what is in the city.  
Small towns have always appealed to me, and if I could meet and have friends like the women in this book, I would move there in a heartbeat.   This book has fun, friendship, and laughter as well as characters who grow up and finally realize what they want in life. 

The core group of three women, Cathy, Marty and Trixie, are in their mid-30’s and that is probably why they appealed to me most.  At that age, you begin to really sort yourself out, and make decisions that you stick with.  You’re not a flighty twenty-something anymore!  The other girlfriend in this group is Darla Jean.  I took her to be in her late 40s early 50s so she has more life experience.  You know that one who is the “mother” in every group of girlfriends, that’s her.  Then there is the crazy relative, Aunt Agnes.  I swear this character reminded of Wheezer from Steel Magnolias.  Agnes was a trip.  A bit mean and too honest at times, but everything comes from a good place.  She loves her nieces (Cathy and Marty) and wants to be a good Aunt to them.  Agnes made me chuckle the most, because she pull these antics that are too much for words.  I shook my head quite a bit while reading this one, because the way the characters interact with others, is priceless.  

The Queen of Cadillac, Violet Prescott, thinks her crap doesn't stink.  She thinks she and her son are like the Kennedys of Texas or something.  There were times when I wanted to tell her off myself, but she gets hers in the end.  I could go on and on about each character of the book, but I think you should read it yourself.  In a nutshell, it’s everything you would expect in a story set in a small town.

My one quibble, was there wasn't a whole lot about the jalapenos except some really tasty sounding food.  For example, I need to find jalapeño jelly and see what the heck that tastes like!

The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee  was a fun and delightful read.  It was perfect for in between classics or heavy books, and I finished it in a week.  This book is the start in a new series by Carolyn Brown and I will be definitely be back to visit with the girls in Cadillac, Texas. 

Carolyn Brown's website: 

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Trade paperback, 321 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks

Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review copy.

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