I read this book by a fellow West Texas lady, F.C. Pearce, between bouts of cooking for all my beloved Christmas company. It wasn't about Christmas, of course, but it helped me stay in the spirit of the season by reminding me of what's really important: Inner peace, even when the stuff hits the fan.
Being from West Texas, I enjoyed deciphering the setting--the locales such as the "fictional" Concho City, Pecan Valley, Rowan with its church steeple, and St. Joseph's hospital, to name a few, despite the disclaimer that resemblances are purely coincidental. The story is universal, however, and flowed easily, covering 40 years of heroine Cady Randolph's life of family, friends, and loves.
It begins with a nostalgic description of a 1950s neighborhood, taking on a bit of the tone of Harper Lee. There's an Atticus-like dad who's a doctor instead of a lawyer, a couple of crazy neighbors, and lazy evenings on the front porch (figuratively). Right away, the family drama begins. Heroine Cady is 7. Her family challenges inform her decisions throughout the book as she demonstrates her loyalty and strength, often derived by following her father's advice to "listen for the mourning dove."