She Always Wore Red
Tyndale, May 2008, $13.99
A former Chief of Staff to a US Senator, almost forty Jennifer Graham left DC for Mount Dora, Florida following an ugly divorce, accompanied by her two sons. She is attending mortuary school and has converted her family Victorian mansion into a place for her and the boys to live and as the Fairlawn Funeral Home. Since she is in training, elderly embalmer Gerald Huffman lives with them while overseeing the body dressing.
However, the change does not work out as smooth as Jennifer hoped for. Her son thirteen year old Clay has joined a team of shoplifting troublemakers and has been nasty at home to her and his brother. He is driving her to the end of her rope although she loves him and will keep on feeling that way regardless of what trouble he is in. However Jennifer also discovers she has a half-sister dominated by a fundamentalist stepfather whose beliefs make Jennifer wonder about her own as her faith in God is tested.
The sequel to DOESN’T SHE LOOK NATURAL is a deeper tale than the fine first Graham entry as issues of faith, race, divorce aftermath and teen peer presure are handled deftly while interwoven into a strong character driven story. Jennifer is a wonderful lead protagonist who left DC for smalltown Florida for her sake and that of her sons in order for them to start fresh; however the best laid plans of mice, women and Jennifer often go astray. Angela Hunt provides a poignant contemporary novel that in spite of the profound issues, frustrations and differences true maternal love is always there.