It is said that laughter is the only aerobic exercise your liver gets. My liver got a work-out today. Katie Schuermann has written a Mitford-esque laugh-out-loud novel that kept me in stitches. She doesn't just set out to write a funny book, other emotions enter into the plot as well: surprise, pain, friendship, and a tiny bit of romance. House of Living Stones had several deep biblical truths woven into the story as well.
Protagonists Pastor Michael Fletcher and Dr. Emily Duke have quite a year ahead of them from the very first moment you open the book. When Emily wants to use Latin anthems in the service, the accompanist up and quits. When Arlene Scheinberg makes one too many typos in the bulletin, Geraldine wants to take over. When Candice Bradbury gets it into her mind that Emily is living a lie, she stops at nothing to reveal Emily's duplicity. When that backfires and Candice ends up with egg on her face, she decides Emily needs a suitor. Blind dates, forged love letters, and a myriad of underhanded tricks are just a few of the items in Candice's repertoire; and those tricks blaze a trail for Emily that just may lead her out of town.
This is more than a small town tome, like Mitford... This is a family with all kinds of warts and blemishes that makes the readers feel good about their own families. Some of the more hysterical parts are the bulletin bloopers, definitely, but what had me holding my side, laughing out loud, was when Lois's husband, Don, came to choir practice and passed a bit of flatulence. The choir is immediately dismissed, but the choir members who stay behind start quipping with puns that leave the members howling with laughter: "Who sounded his pipes?" "His number 2 stop is stuck." And those are only two that come off the top of my head.
I wish I could give this more than five stars, but that is all they allow. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a bulletin blooper to make you chuckle out loud.
This book was provided for my reading pleasure by Concordia Publishing. No compensation was offered or received in exchange for my honest review.