book reviews · NetGalley · Revell Reads

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

The atmosphere was superb in this one. That was the most mesmerizing thing for me while I was reading this book. I also thought the author nailed the dialect of small-town Southern United States. The way these characters spoke and thought made them come alive for me.

The cover was amazing… until I realized there were only two letters mentioned in the story instead of the hefty stack shown on the lower portion of the cover. Now that car… I’ll take one of those, please! So gorgeous, those curves. And I still love the tone that’s set by the cover. That was totally spot-on.

Clarence was a completely compassionate gentleman. I couldn’t get enough of this guy and his love for “his girls” (his wife and daughters). His protective spirit and encouraging nature were amazing, and I wish he could have been in several more scenes.

Now for the stuff I struggled with…

Glory Ann recognized early that pre-marital sex and an unwed pregnancy were mistakes, BUT shortly after that, she was “not ashamed of” these things, though shame is exactly what sin should stir up in us.

She also saw and spoke to her dead fiancé as if he were really still alive. That was spooky and weird.

The name for the elderly ladies’ sewing club didn’t make sense to me and felt disrespectful to God. It was the “Poker Night Prayer and Sewing Circle.” They never once played poker. Why not call it simply the “Prayer and Sewing Circle”?

I was completely confused at where Sarah had previously lived. I thought it was Chicago, Illinois, because Chicago was mentioned several times. Then, out of nowhere, “get back to Virginia” and “her Chicago responsibilities” were both mentioned on a single page, talking about her going home to her former place of residence for a time. At that point, I lost all bearings of where Sarah’s past took place.

Having the “preacher’s wife let a cuss word fly” was not a good example of Ephesians 4:29, which says, “No foul language is to come from your mouth.” A preacher’s wife has great responsibility to lead by example because of the position of spiritual leadership her husband and she are both in, so this was definitely something that bothered me.

Whenever a character was asked if she had an affair, her immediate and only response was, “No. Never.” How, then, did she end up having a baby out of wedlock? Sounds like a pre-marital affair to me. Not all affairs are when one or both parties are already married. It’s any sexual relationship outside of the bonds of marriage. An online dictionary says an affair is “an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration,” which was exactly what happened. Therefore, the lady did have an affair, which means she also lied about not having one.

Overall, this story was very atmospheric with a compassionate gentleman of a character who stood out as memorable. I’ve already heard from several other reader friends on Goodreads that they adored this story, so I’m sure other readers will as well.

Content: unwed pregnancy, gambling term in a prayer group name, replacement profanity, teen drinking, drugs mentioned

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