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Five Miles South of Peculiar

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  520 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
If these three sisters don't change direction, they'll end up where they're going.
Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather's legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published June 5th 2013 by Howard Books (first published June 5th 2012)
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Angela Hunt
Mar 01, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, it's not really right to review my own book, is it? All I can say is that I worked hard on it and fell a little in love with all three sisters. Each character in this quirky little town has strengths and weaknesses, but they're all doing the best they can to make a life in Peculiar. Which isn't always easy to do . . .

I hope you enjoy the read!

Angie Hunt
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
This was read and reviewed via and for Netgalley (thanks, I think!).

My experience of this book was much like the way it describes small-town living: sweet and warm, but with some serious drawbacks. I liked the well-rounded and nicely fleshed out characters: each was unique and believable, and avoided falling into the pigeonhole traps they were tap-dancing around. They were given interesting things to do. Was there a bit too much "misunderstanding because nobody bothers to talk about it"? Yes. W
Rebecca Holland
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angela Hunt, Five Miles South of Peculiar, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4391-8204-8: Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including The Nativity Story, Don't Bet Against Me and The Note. And she has another winner with Five Miles South of Peculiar.

Very seldom does a novel really grab a hold of this reviewer's heart like the story of the three Caldwell sisters in Five Miles South of Peculiar. It is a southern part of Florida and it is a story about family, loyal
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
Full post here: http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot....

Five Miles South of Peculiar is a soulful book that examines the complex nature and importance of a relationship between sisters. Each of the Caldwell sisters has chosen a different path in life and has become estranged from the other two to varying degrees. Darlene, Carlene and Magnolia have uniquely defined roles and personas in this sibling trifecta. When they are at their best, they work together like a perfectly balanced medley; but wh
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you ever read a book in which you find yourself hating just about every character? I do. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I really loathe those people. For instance, in The Replacement Wife, I HATED Camille. HATED. HER. I hated every character in that Fifty Shades nonsense (GOOD GRIEF, not that again), other than my main man Christian Grey. In Bared to You, I hated them all except - le sigh - Gideon Cross.

And in Five Miles South of Peculiar, I hated every character except Nolie and Erik.

Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this at my library. I love Southern Fiction and the description on the back of the book grabbed my interest. Unfortunately, the book itself was lacking.

There are 800 reviews that summarize the plot, so I am not going to do that. All I am going to tell you is that I didn't enjoy this book much.

I do not believe you must always like the main characters of every book you read. That would be boring. Darlene and Carlene were utterly unlikable. The character of Henry was underdeveloped and
Magnolia Caldwell lives in the family estate of Sycamores, located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar, in Jackson County, Florida. Nolie lives with her sister, Darlene, and two large dogs, and is pretty satisfied with her life but there are changes on the way. The Sycamores estate will soon revert to town ownership, and the homeless and divorced Reverend Eric Payne is offered a room in exchange for maintenance services. More surprising, Darlene’s twin sister, Carlene, is about to r ...more
Christy Lockstein
Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt is a poignant yet joyful novel of a Southern family finding its way home. The Caldwells of Peculiar, Florida have always lived in their estate The Sycamores, but in 2018, exactly fifty years after the death of the family founder, all of the property will pass into the hands of the city. Despite this looming deadline, Darlene and Nolie Caldwell continue living life at The Sycamores as it's been lived for the past fifty years, without thought of social n ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
From title to the town, “Peculiar” is a cozy place to visit with quirky characters and a friend on every corner. It’s what happens outside the town of Peculiar – five miles away to be exact that can get interesting…

The novel is set in the lives of three sisters, one being a set of twins who have just turned fifty. Nothing about those fifty years have been easy and when the sisters all come home to roost…things don’t get pretty.

There is a very intriguing backstory for Darlene and Carlene and well
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read a lot of Angela Hunt’s books, but I have read enough to know that I can always count on her to write a book that I will really enjoy. It’s hard to go back and read an author’s previous books when you review as many books as I do, so I like to keep an eye out for her new books to review.

Five Miles South of Peculiar was a fantastic book, probably my favorite Angela Hunt book so far. It had so many things that I love in a book. First of all, it takes place in a small southern town.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hunt wrote a great Christian fiction novel with a small town feel that is unique to the South. Five Miles South of Peculiar tells the story of the three Caldwell sisters who all end up living at Sycamores estate that they grew up at. Darlene is afraid of living in her Broadway star sister, Carlene’s shadow. Carlene has lost her singing voice after an operation fails and Magnolia had her heartbroken and cannot move on. Reading about the family dynamics and learning about each sister’s past was so ...more
K.E. Garvey
This book offers the message of forgiveness, and I enjoyed that. As for the story itself, it's not the worst book I ever read, although the character of Darlene was enough to make me want to put the book down. If it weren't for the character of her younger sister, Nolie, I believe I would have. Darlene is bitter, grumpy, and even antagonistic at times, but without reason for the majority of the book. Even once the reason is revealed, it does not warrant the way she treats her sister, Carly. Her ...more
Kitty Honeycutt
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Title: "Five Miles South of Peculiar”
Author: Angela Hunt
Published By: Howard Books
Age Recommended: 18+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 4.5

Review: A classic story of three sisters grown yet beginning life anew. Darlene, Carlene, and Magnolia find their way back to their childhood home and discover more about themselves and the power of sisterhood than they ever knew.
A beautifully written novel by an author that writes with grace and elegance; Angela Hunt is one that every woman should
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read on sister love and jealousy. How misunderstanding can build walls and how just simple things can tear those walls down. I really liked all three sisters, they were different in personality and life experience. They all had their "secrets" that were holding them back from living life free. It makes you realize how secrets can keep you prisoner. Book was clean but not preachy in any way. I love how Ms. Hunt writes, very descriptive and builds a plot without getting lost in it.
Robin Lee Hatcher
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the characters in this book so much and was sorry to say goodbye to them when the book was done.
Laura B
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. I forced myself to finish it because I really like AEH's writing. However, I did not like two of the three main characters. Darlene was just a bitter middle aged woman, and Carlene was so full of herself she couldn't see anything but be in her own little world, where she acted like everything was owed to her. The only main character of the three that was likeable was Magnolia. Not only were Carlene and Darlene unlikeable, the story just seemed to drag in some places; I e ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3 Sisters who in many ways, still live in the past and are so handicapped from the past, one wonders can they possibly have a future. They must now deal with the present before moving into a positive future, as their 3 lives inter-twine slowly but surely,the future comes softly into play. A great read of forgiveness & love. Easily, a five star read.
Kay Schuch
Kind of a slow moving and predictable read. But I recommend it if you need to read something with a few enjoyable fun moments. The main storyline is about holding grudges and forgiving! A reminder that we can all identify with and the need to let go of the hurts.
Melissa Frye
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Reading Five Miles South of Peculiar proved difficult. NOT because it was bad, but because of time constraints. I stuck it in my bag when I went for a PT appointment and only read a few pages before being called. The same thing happened at the dentist and again at the next PT appointment. I began to think I wasn’t supposed to read it.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
If these three sisters don’t change direction, they’ll end up where they’re going. Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores
Bluerose's  Heart
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Several years ago, one of my friends loaned me her set of Hunt's Heirs of Cahira O'Connor books. I loved them! Since then I've put a post it note on my brain to read more of Angela's books, but it wasn't until now that I've done so. I really connect with her writing(with a couple of exceptions in this particular book).

Although Five Miles South of Peculiar has many different stories going on, they all revolve around the Caldwell sisters. Carlene and Darlene are the 50 year old twins.

According to
Amy Bradsher
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five Miles South of Peculiar is the story of the three Caldwell sisters and how they mature in their relationships with each other and with God. Darlene is the happy homemaker type, a pillar in their small Southern town of Peculiar, and she rules the inherited family estate with an iron hand. Her twin Carlene, a Broadway singer, decides to visit the family home after experiencing a personal tragedy and stirs up lots of past issues - especially jealousy from Darlene. There's also Nolie, who lives ...more
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass



Five Miles Sough of Peculiar is the Caldwell Estate. Darlene, almost fifty, a widow with her two children living far away rules the roost at the family estate. Living there with her is Magnolia, forty something and never been married, and loves her dogs and gardens. And then there is Carlene, almost fifty divorced, no children, and not to singing career, who left home after high school to pursue this singing career and never looked back. Then we meet Eric Payne, a divorc
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: angela-hunt-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
This is a condensed version of my review. The extended version can be found here.

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this book for review from Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for my honest opinion. Big thanks to Howard Books and Libby for this great opportunity.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: The title and the cover of this novel drew me in from the moment I saw them. I love stories that are centered around families (especially sisters). I started this novel with re
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With about 4 million copies of her books sold worldwide, you can only expect the best from best-selling author Angela Hunt. And her latest offering, “Five Miles South of Peculiar” published by Howard Books is a poignant yet joyful novel of a Southern family finding its way home.

The book revolves around the Caldwells, who lived in an estate named The Sycamores, which is located five miles south of a small town peculiarly named Peculiar. The book follows the footsteps of the three Caldwell sisters
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Five Miles South of Peculiar

by Angela Hunt

The Caldwell sisters are a different as can be but they are bound by one thing, the family's estate Sycamores located just south of Peculiar, Florida a town nobody has ever heard of.

Darlene has spent her whole life at Sycamores. She raised her family and buried her husband there. Charlene left Peculiar as a teenager to embrace a singing career on Broadway. Nolie, the youngest, has always called Sycamores home and is known for her aprons.

But each sister h
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author: Angela Hunt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (Howard Books)
June 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8204-8
Genre: Women’s fiction

Darlene Caldwell has spent her life on Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of Peculiar, Florida. She raised her family in her grandfather’s estate, and she’s a pillar of the community, and she reigns as queen—at least until her twin sister comes to town.

Carlene Caldwell is a Broadway star. She knows her acting skills are subpar, but he
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts
Five Miles South of Peculiar there is an estate called The Sycamores and this is where the Caldwell sisters grew up. It's also an apt description of many of the characters found throughout the book, including the sisters that grew up there.

Ms. Hunt has delved deeply into the relationship between sisters and how rivalry and resentment can and does carry over into their adult relationships. She tells each of their stories through three different viewpoints, Darlene's, Carlene's and No
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, arc-s
This was a great novel. Ms. Hunt does a superb job of developing her characters, especially the main ones. Five Miles South of Peculiar explores in depth each character’s past, why they are the way they are, how they got to be where they currently are, present, the life that they each created for themselves, and ends with a glimpse at each woman’s future.

This book has a nice happy ending for each woman, making this a nice light beach read. There are some heavy things in this book as well; the lo
Christian Fiction Addiction
Angela Hunt has long impressed me as an author who can take seemingly ordinary characters and soon have them feeling like friends and people I genuinely care about. In Five Miles South of Peculiar, she again succeeds at bringing to life the three Caldwell sisters Darlene, Carlene and Magnolia, with their misunderstandings, humorous interactions, and desires to make a difference in the world and be loved for who they are. Although I didn't love this book as much as her Fairlawn Series (that one r ...more
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Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children have reached their thirties, Angie and her husband live in Florid
More about Angela Elwell Hunt...

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“Tell me," he said, leaning forward with his elbows braced on his knees, "tell me how you were able to find peace about your situation. How did you forgive the man who hurt you?"

She studied him. Apparently he'd been thinking long and hard about something that disturbed him. The corners of his mouth were tight, and his eyes slightly shiny. Had he been putting himself through this sort of stressful heart searching every night?
"I struggled, yes." She closed her hands to resist the impulse to stroke his cheek. "But when I saw Buddy sitting there, I realized he had already paid a price. And I'm not his judge-I will never be. He has to answer to God, not only for what he did to me, but for how he treated everyone. Knowing that I'm only a tiny piece of the picture-knowing that, I could smile and let it go. I don't really think about him anymore, and I don't hate him. Truthfully, I mostly feel sorry for him."
Erik hung his head. "It sounds so easy when you say it. So sensible."
"I'm not saying what worked for me will for everyone-I mean, "I'm not much of an expert."
Aren't you?" His mouth twisted in wry amusement. "Let me see-instead of being angry at that church for running me off, I need to realize they've paid a price?
"They lost you as a minister. And who knows? Maybe what they did soured other people in town.”
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