The Fine Art of Insincerity
By Angela Hunt
Published by Howard Books
Three Southern sisters wit nine marriages among them—and more looming on the horizon—travel to St. Simons Island to empty their late grandmother's house. Ginger, the eldest, wonders if she's the only one who hasn't inherited what their family calls "the Grandma Gene"—the tendency to enjoy the casualness of courtship more than the intimacy of marriage. Could it be that her sisters are fated to serially marry, just like their seven-times-wed grandmother, Lillian Irene Harper Winslow Goldstein Carey James Bobrinski Gordon George?
Marital frustrations collide with poignant memories when the sisters gather to close up Grandma's treasured beach house for the last time. One sister faces her husband's infidelity, one plots the end of her life in pursuit of love, and one toys with the idea of leaving her loving but dull husband as the task at hand reminds them of their grandmother's love and life lessons. This "girl' only" weekend forces them to finally unpack their family baggage, examine their relationship DNA, and discover the true legacy their much-marrying grandmother left behind.
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."
Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Women's fiction is rarely my first choice in reading material but if I'm going to pick one up it there is a good chance it will have Angela Hunt's name on the cover. The Fine Art of Insincerity is a serious and introspective look at the lives of sisters Ginger, Pennyroyal and Rosemary as they come to terms with their past and ponder the future before them. Angela skillfully creates unique characters with strengths and glaring weaknesses that impact their relationships with each other in positive and damaging ways. Realism infuses each of the characters and the circumstances they experience, reflecting issues many face every day, including fidelity, divorce, tragedy and grief. That said, I wished I had connected more with Ginger, Penny and Rosemary and their personal struggles which would have made me more satisfied with the story. Angela's prose is always top notch and fans of women's fiction will find much to enjoy and grapple with in this tale.
Reviewed by: Rel Mollet
Angela Hunt can tell a good story. I have yet to pick up one of her books and not devour it.
In the Fine Art of Insincerity, three disconnected sisters reconnect to clean out Grandma’s beach house. They each have dreams and plans for the small inheritance that they’ll net and that inheritance is about the only thing that makes three days together tolerable. As they struggle through details and piles of stuff and emotions, they reveal the bits and pieces of their view of life and how that was shaped by their grandmother. And the events of their childhood that made Grandma the one adult they could really count on to be there for them.
This is a suspenseful, tense read full of heavy, heavy topics. Infidelity, multiple marriages and divorces, depression and suicide to name a few. Add sibling tunnel vision and miscommunication and female hormones and there is plenty of drama. The storyline in less capable hands could have been cliché and the characters two dimensional. But Angela Hunt has written it masterfully.
If you love southern style fiction, women’s fiction or relationship novels, you’ll want to look into this one.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
I always learn something from Angela Hunt’s books and The Fine Art of Insincerity is no exception. I’m thankful to have received a review copy of such a powerful and moving novel! Once again Angela delivers an unexpected story with rich flawed characters that evokes a depth of thought and emotion that surprise the reader.
Being in the house they had called home, reminded them of the fun and precious times they shared. Ginger, Penny and Rose remember how they started out visiting their grandmother for the summer and then it was for good. This house also held so many memories that were bitter sweet. These three sisters have come together for a weekend to clean out their grandmother’s house because it’s finally sold. They are here to split up their grandmothers’ belongings hoping to get a few things to help them remember the special memories they shared with her..
One of the treasures they find is their grandmother’s journal. As the sisters read the journal they see the woman they loved as their mother in a whole new way. The journal unveiled the unimaginable love she had for them and so many others. Little did the sisters realize this journal would have their past collide with their present?
Angela Hunt quotes this scripture 1 Cor 13:3 …”So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (The Message)
Love was the topic of the weekend. They saw the depths of their grandmothers’ love. Love! Ginger didn’t think her sisters knew what that was with them being married so many times. Ginger and Michael were married for 25 years. She felt her sisters just needed to work a little harder at their relationships before they called it quits. But in the middle of it all these sisters see, “People aren’t really free to love someone until they know us, warts and all – and then the warts don’t matter because it’s so freeing to be loved completely! The truth will set you free – free from bondage and vows we made as children. When we are free it allows us to begin to love like Jesus.”
Angela captures the camaraderie, love and the joy sisters share as they play the role each learned to play in their family of origin. I could relate to this because of what I’ve experienced this with my three sisters. I appreciate these sisters’ relationships and how they challenged and loved each other through the tough times.
Can these sisters get the house clean, reminisce about the past, remember the special times, the sadness and still love each other at the end of the weekend? Could they trust each other with their heart ache, and their mistakes?
Angela Hunt is a brilliant, thought provoking writer who talks about unusual and interesting subjects in her books that grip the readers’ heart, mind and emotions. Angela has the gift of writing a novel you think you have figured out – then she comes up with a few surprises that are a shock to her characters and to the reader. I love that.
Looking for a great summer read that will stir your heart, make you laugh and cry? You’ll definitely want to read this one. Angela will get you looking at relationships, love and marriage in a whole new light….especially the intricate relationship between sisters. Thanks Angela for another entertaining surprising ride through time, relationships and life. It’s definitely made me think about loving others in an honest, practical way. This is a rich story with loving colorful characters that won’t disappoint.
Reviewed by: Nora St.LaurentFinding Hope Through Fiction