Friday, May 23, 2008

Book Review: Sweet Caroline

A Novel by Rachel Hauck

I just finished this great novel about a woman who always tries to do right by everyone. She’s the kind of girl who never wants to let anyone down. Caroline has put her life on hold so many times; she’s not sure where to begin. But God has a plan.

I loved the character of Caroline; a girl with her heart in the right place, but not too certain about all the ‘God’ stuff. She’s got two handsome fellows in her life, but only one heart to give - and then there’s the Frogmore Café, what on earth is she going to do about that?

The Book

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

About Rachel

Rachel skated through the 70’s and 80’s with Farrah Fawcet hair (who didn’t?) and a three-speed orange Camero. She’s a graduate of Ohio State, a former software trainer, a world traveler, and a pastor’s wife. Most importantly she gave her heart to the One who loves her best many years ago. Rachel’s first book, Lambert’s Pride was published in 2004.

If you visit Rachel’s website HERE you can learn more about Rachel and enter to win a “scrumptious” basket giveaway. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter.

The Recipe

The Frogmore Café’s menu features some mighty fine sounding cookin’, but it is the description of the biscuits that made my mouth water. I love me a biscuit! So, for your munching pleasure, here is the recipe for Bubba's Buttery Biscuits:

3 cups self-rising flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.

Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)


Rachel's website:

Buy the book at my sidebar or through Rachel’s website.

Are you a writer? Why not check out Rachel’s writer’s craft group at My Book Therapy


amy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. We have lots in common. Did you love the book? I did!

See ya around the blog world

Barrie said...

Great book review! Thanks!

Susan said...

Here's my comment in the hopes of winning a copy of "Sweet Caroline"! Thanks!

email: writeagain04 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Kiva said...

Another good book to put on my list... there are just too many good books!