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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman

Falling to Pieces - Vannetta Chapman

This was attempt 2 at a good cozy mystery to listen to this month, and I did like this one much more than the first, enough that I have the next book in the series on hold because I am curious about what happens next.


I'm still not sure why Christian fiction so heavily features the Amish. Is it so hard to envision a life dedicated to God with the inclusion of electricity? Anyway, Shipshewana, where this series takes place, is just down the road from where I live, so I took the bait.


Sure, there is a little too many facts about Shipshewana and Amish lifestyle forced into awkward dialogue, but I had few other issues with is story. The narrator was actually my biggest difficulty. The prologue of this book begins with an elderly resident of Shipshewana who witnesses the beginning of a crime before she dies of a heart attack. The voice of the narrator fits this character perfectly. Unfortunately, the rest of the book features said lady's 27 year-old niece who comes to take over her estate. I couldn't get out of my head that I was listening to an old lady's voice until something jarring would happen, like a young guy flirting with her.


Along with the typical cozy mystery stuff, the main character, Callie, is dealing with more than the loss of her elderly aunt. It is slowly revealed that she has encountered much loss and grief in her life and has never known how to handle it. Instead, she has buried it deep beneath a tough Southern girl exterior. She comes from Houston & isn't quite sure what to make of Shipshewana, which is like no other town with it's Amish population and crowded market days. 


Debra is an Amish woman who immediately befriends Callie due to her previous relationship with her aunt. Most Amish novels give one the feeling that all Amish are happier, more devout, and all around better people than us Englishers, but I didn't get that quite as much from this. Debra has a gas powered washing machine and refrigerator and doesn't come across quite as 18th century as some Amish characters. 


An enjoyable light read, Falling to Pieces made me want to read more and find out how stubborn but broken Callie is put back together.