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Miss You Most of All by Elizabeth Bass

Miss You Most of All (2010)

by Elizabeth Bass

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    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (jo2son)
    jo2son: Both stories are about sisters who live together in a rural setting.

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This novel had me at "Sassy Spinster Farm". I'd give it 3 1/2 stars really. The farm is run by two sisters in their thirties who cobble together a CSA (community supported agriculture) and agri-tourism B&B to make ends meet at their family farm in Texas. Laura is the very cranky, tart tongued sister, and Rue is the sweet tongued one with a heart of gold and a preteen daughter who is adjusting to her mom's recent divorce and bad bout with cancer. When an old family member turns up unexpectedly at the farm - Heidi the former and despised step sister - the summer starts off with a little family rivalry, a little romance (a handsome farm hand inexplicably has a thing for Laura), some intrigue (just what is Heidi running from?), and lots of laughter and tears. Overall a two thumbs up, though a bit draggy in parts - could have used a bit more trimming, I think. ( )
  amanderson | Jun 13, 2011 |
How can you resist a book set on a farm called Sassy Spinster Farm? Rue and Laura are sisters who live on the farm where they grew up, taking in guests who want to experience working the farm life for themselves. They are working hard to not only make the farm pay but to live their lives to the fullest and to understand what matters most in life. Rue is exhausted and drained from her latest round of chemo for advanced breast cancer. Laura is prickly and anti-social, resenting the presence of the guests at the farm. Erica, Rue's pre-teen daughter, is faced not only with a mother battling cancer and a father who has invited her twee former fifth grade teacher to move in with him but also with all the hazards and pitfalls of being young and figuring out friendship. Webb, who is working the farm for the summer, is an old friend who has been in love with Laura, despite the fact that she ignores him and his good-hearted loyalty, just about forever. Into this mix comes Heidi, Rue and Laura's former step-sister, the bratty little baggage who left the farm without a backward glance so many years ago when her mother left the sisters' father. Laura doesn't want to let Heidi stay but Rue is adamant that family is forever. And Heidi's presence changes everything, helping each of the characters to examine herself and her choices much closer.

The characters in this are delightful and quirkily human. They make mistakes and are stubborn but they are warm and good-intentioned and the book is all around charming. There's joy and humor and deep sadness here but ultimately it is an uplifting read that leaves the reader feeling good. Some of the plot is a little far fetched and there really aren't any surprises to be had (and in certain cases, this is absolutely the right thing) but there is something luminous and sweet and appealing here. Perhaps it is the sense of love that pervades the book. Whatever it is, this is a book that leaves the reader sighing with pleasure when the back cover finally closes. It is like the best life lived, complete with ups and downs, laughter and tears, but on the whole, worth every minute. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a well-written feel-good novel (plus one cathartic cry). ( )
  whitreidtan | Oct 26, 2010 |
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Few things are as lasting as the bond between sisters. In her poignant debut, Elizabeth Bass explores the lengths one cobbled-together family will go to for each other, and the power of a connection that never fades. . .Sassy Spinster Farm is a place to find solace. At least, that's what it's become since Rue Anderson and her sister Laura transformed their childhood Texas homestead into a successful tourist destination. It's where guests flock to get their hands dirty and taste food fresh from the garden. And it's where Rue is raising her pre-teen daughter on her own--while trying to keep her outspoken sister in check. It's not easy, but together, it seems there's nothing the two can't handle--until an unexpected, and not entirely welcome guest shows up in the middle of one warm summer night. Heidi Bogue, onetime stepsister to Rue and Laura, is back, and she's hiding from something. Why else would she return to the place she was dragged to, kicking and screaming, as a teenager? A place she was thrilled to leave when, three years later, she and her mother bolted, leaving Rue and Laura's father heartbroken? But while Laura is irate, Rue won't turn Heidi away. Technically, they were once sisters, and to Rue, sisterhood is forever. Soon, Sassy Spinster Farm is turned upside down by Heidi's complicated presence. Still, Rue is determined that Heidi, like all their guests, finds the farm a safe place to discover--or remember--what really matters. It's a revelation that will come sooner than any of them expected, when devastating news shakes the foundation of their tenuous sisterhood. Moving and uplifting, here is a beautifully written novel about the bonds we are born into and those we create for ourselves--and of the strength that comes in loving without limits.… (more)

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