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Five Days in May

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  948 ratings  ·  171 reviews

A twister's coming. A big one, a monster F5--a mile wide and eight miles tall.

The writhing finger of death hurls across the prairie toward Graham, Oklahoma, one Friday afternoon in May, 1963, on a collision course with the lives of 4 people—each of whom has already planned a personal rendezvous with death in s
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Ninie Hammon (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  948 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction fans, fans of deeply moving books about life and the choices that we make.
Recommended to Bren by: Book club read.
“Don’t never underestimate the power of doin’ the right thing, Reverend. Sometimes, it’s the only gift life gives you.”
― Ninie Hammon, Five Days in May

Of all the books I have read for my book club, I think this was one of the best. The book is historical fiction and centers on a small rural town in Oklahoma. There is a tornado hurtling toward the town.

The focus of the book..for most of not the tornado although the reader is made aware of's some of the people who inhabit the town.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
3.5 stars!

I liked this one! I wanted to love it, but it was missing that certain "something" for me.

The story places place over the course of 5 days in May, in a small town in Oklahoma. The story revolves around Princess, an inmate on death row, Mac, the local minister, Jonas, Mac's father-in-law, and Joy, Mac's daughter. All of these characters are troubled by something and feel very alone in their struggle.

I think there were 2 things that impacted my reading experience. The first could not be
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Five Days in May starts with the end: the “Big Ugly”, a massive tornado that strikes the town of Graham, Oklahoma, in May 1963. It then goes back five days to show in detail the lives of the townspeople—and it’s typical of tornados that there is no warning. The reader knows what’s coming, but the characters are tied up in their everyday lives.

There are four main characters: Princess (Emily Prentice), who is due to be executed in five days for murdering her baby sister; Mac, the widowed preacher
A twister's coming. A big one, a monster F5--a mile wide and eight miles tall. The writhing finger of death hurls across the prairie toward Graham, Oklahoma, one Friday afternoon in May, 1963, on a collision course with the lives of 4 people—each of whom has already planned a personal rendezvous with death in some other form that day.

In Jonas Cunningham’s mind, what he’s planning isn’t murder. The handful of little white pil
sharlon strickland
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the Best Books I've Ever Read

One of the Best Books I've Ever Read

This book had me by the first chapter. The author's writing style was exceptionally good. Her characters were realistic and true. She was able to create a remarkable tension and mystery. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in one day.
Kristin L. Pressley
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it

This book is beautifully written with a language all its own. I loved the raw insight into each character's personal struggle with emotional demons and unfolding of their connections to each other. There are some painfully valuable lessons learned about assumptions, sacrifice, perseverance, and unconditional love in this story. Definitely a great read!
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
I don't think I've ever had such a profound feeling after reading a novel like I have after finishing Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon. You want to remember that name because her books will have you remembering them long after you have finished and to me, that is a sign of a talented and memorable author. WOW! Was my initial thought after reading this novel. How can I possibly sum this up in a review without giving away too much but convey to people looking for an exceptional book to please pick ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this it has to be said. I can’t REALLY put my finger on why exactly, it was just a feeling, a total immersion into this tale of people living a small town life, all with very different characters and viewpoints, in a period of their lives where death is approaching – in the form of a Twister perhaps, but also in other ways. Some lovely writing and great depth of character make this a very evocative and often emotional read.

I particularly found the complex and intelligent interweaving of
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bought
A woman on Death Row for killing her sister. She somehow has ties to a Preacher who is mad at God for taking his wife who died from breast cancer. The prisoner also has ties to his daughter in some way too including being able to see through her eyes like a mystic at times. Its a murder mystery thriller that weaves a captivating story together with a tornado that comes when she's in the electric chair about to die. ...more
Mary Hamilton
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Set in 1963 in southeastern Oklahoma, this book tells the story of wounded souls who find healing through a selfless inmate on death row. The characters include a pastor who lost his faith when his wife died, his daughter who finds herself pregnant at 16 with no one she can confide in, and the pastor's in-laws who are dealing with a little-known illness (at the time) called Alzheimers. In a nearby women's prison, an eccentric young woman is scheduled to die for the horrible murder of her little ...more
Thomas Fredrick
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You find out in the prologue of the book that a tornado is going headed toward a small town in Oklahoma on a Friday afternoon in 1964. Then the book opens on the Monday of that week and you live each day leading up to that friday--the five days in May, with a cast of characters so warm and believable you'll think you must have gone to high school with all of them.
Every day, there are new revelations as each of four people in the town plans death of some sort for Friday. A teenager plans an abort
Sarah Bridges
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew a book with a tornado on the cover would be psychological suspense—and boy, was I right! The book is the story of four people who live in a little Oklahoma town in the 1960s. Each of them has planned death in some form for Friday. But what they don't know is that an F5 tornado is going to strike that Friday and change all their plans.
The book starts out at an easy pace, then the mystery--and the magic--begin to unfold as the days tick off to Friday. And on that day, a match-flame of tensi
Cristina Trowbridge
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I want to thank Ninie Hammon for the free Kindle download of this book. Given that I had already read and (very favorably!) reviewed her book, The Memory Closet, I was eager to read another book written by her. Free books are nice, but they do not "buy" good reviews from me---so let me say with full honestly: I truly enjoyed this book. Ninie writes in a way that allows the reader to hear the voices of her characters, accents and all. I could visualize the people, the locations, and ...more
Mary McDonald
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was going to give this 4 stars, but changed it to 5 after writing this review. I was a bit confused in the beginning until I got the gist of the characters and by page 100 I figured out (or so I thought) where the plot was headed. I was still enjoying it at this point, however, I totally devoured the last 130 pages. I couldn't put this book down! SUSPENSEFUL is the word. This book has a little bit of everything in it...mystery, good vs evil, psychic/medium, faith, unconditional love, family bo ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Touching and heartbreaking

Touching and heartbreaking

What a great story! So much goes on in this book and Ninie Hammon captured the essence of that time period so eloquently and colorfully. What happens in the five days in May before the devastating tornado rips apart the town is so grand and touching your heart aches for each person struggling with life issues between illnesses, death, and disillusion. Salvation, forgiveness and repentance are key factors and watching the story unfold from start
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think this may be the best book I've read so far this year. It's certainly up there.

With a story reminiscent of The Green Mile and a wonderfully paced plot, characters so well-drawn you feel you could reach out and touch them, and similes to die for, I'm not really sure if this book could be improved on.

I can heartily recommend this novel and am definitely going to read some more by this author.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Put together a man whose wife has Alzheimer's, a pastor ready to commit spiritual suicide, a pregnant teen, and a young woman in the Long Dark (death row). Add to the mix the 5 days leading up to a horrendous storm encased tornado and you get a novel of suspense, rejuvenation and healing. I almost quit reading the book because of the hopelessness of the mail characters...I wanted something more uplifting. I kept reading and couldn't put it down. ...more
Faith Cummings
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Five Days in May: a Tale of Sacrifice

This is one of the best books I have ever read, on Kindle or any other way. It is so complex, that it is hard to describe. But the story will draw you in and you will not stop until you reach the end. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a riveting and unforgetable story.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book in Kindle form and I could not stop reading it. It captured me quickly. Emily Prentiss, or "Princess," is the eccentric young woman facing death in the electric chair for her role in her younger sister's murder years ago, was my favorite character in this book. So many twists and turns. ...more
Alfredia Haynes
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Simply great book!

The book starts out a little "strange", but as it progresses it becomes engrossing. The characters came to life and I quickly developed an emotional tie to them. I have never read a book by Ninie Hammon, before, but I sure want to read more by her. This is a complex book that is really well written. I loved it.
It pulls you into their lives and doesn't let go. You don't have to worry about getting bored with it.
This is my first book by this author, but it will not be my last. Lord willing.

"But none of them comes to the crossroads of life and death by the path they'd planned or leaves with the result they expected."
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I freaking love this book. I hated having to keep putting it down and deal with my kids and life lol. It's a very enjoyable read and highly recommend it, its gone straight on my favourite shelf brilliant ...more
Connie Smith
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really good book

This is a book that is just different enough to make you want to keep on reading. It is inspirational and suspenseful all in one and kept me gripped throughout. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Rosalie Smith
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I found this book intriguing and fascinating. It kept me reading for hours on end. Princess enthralled me, always never err sure where she was going. The tornado was horrifying.
Joann Dew
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Liked this book but not as well as Memory Closet by the same author. Princess was in prison for a murder and had been in solitary confinement for many years. I enjoyed reading it, but Princess could "see things" and warn people about certain happenings. That seemed a little too "far fetched" to me. ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story sweeps you up and takes you for a page turning wild ride just like the twister that impacts the characters' lives at the end. The characters deal with impactful issues to discuss such as abortion, the death penalty and euthanasia making this a good book club selection. ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Book! Wasn't expecting it to end the way it did! ...more
Eloise Coetzee
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the characters. They were exceptionally real and raw. Princess was reminiscent of Coffey in The Green Mile for me.
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book, good characters. Good suspense. I stayed up way too late, had to finish it!
Rose Beyke
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked this up free on Amazon through and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the book. I will read more of her.
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I was born in Socorro, New Mexico, sometime shortly after the earth cooled off. It’s clear that from the outset my parents never intended for me to amount to anything. How could I? With a name like “Ninie?” Please.

Fame and fortune do not come to people named Ninie Bovell (My maiden name.) Gabriella Bovary? You could work with that. Even something as pedestrian as Madeline Bovell or Rebecca Bovell

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