Thursday, April 22, 2010

Secret Sisters, by Tristi Pinkston

My new book club actually picked a different book to read, but it wasn't at the local bookstore, and I had wanted to read this anyway so when I saw it I picked it up. I finished it in a few hours and chuckled all the way through.

The story takes place in a fictional small town in Utah. (At least I'm pretty sure there is no town in Utah called Omni, but I could be wrong.) A Relief Society president, Ida Mae, and her counselors, Arlette and Tansy, are the typically middle-aged/elderly ladies that help out wherever they are needed. They babysit for tired moms, they deliver cookies and bread to the sick and/or needy, they listen to people's problems and are experienced enough to give appropriate advice.

They aren't too old to learn a new trick, however. Like electronic surveillance. Hoping to determine if a young family needs food, Ida Mae and her nephew Ren plant a camera in the house. After a couple of stakeouts they decide the family is alright in the kitchen but a mysterious visitor to the shed warrants further investigation. The local sheriff rejects their preliminary findings as crazy, female shenanigans brought on by boredom. The fledgling detectives bumble through escalating adventures, all while trying to keep the ward running smoothly without the Bishop knowing anything's wrong.

Oh my. Please don't think badly of me when I say that I imagined certain Relief Society sisters I knew as I was growing up in these roles. Someone says "blue-haired old lady" and a certain image comes to mind, right? Well, I can see Ida Mae, Tansy and Arlette in my head as real people. And it's frightening how spot on Sister Pinkston nails them.

This is a good, clean book; just the sort of thing my book club is looking for. I don't know as if young people would enjoy it, simply because it takes a certain "season of life" to appreciate everything that goes on, but at least there is no worry if a young person reads it. If you need a light, stress-free story, read on.

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