Book Review: The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

Laughter is the best medicine, right? If you are in need of a good laugh, pick up The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee.

Here’s a bit about the book:

You Are Cordially Invited…Come early, eat until your buttons pop, and dance until you drop!

Miss Clawdy’s Café has won the Jubilee blue ribbon every year since the dawn of time. This year, town matron Violet Prescott is going after that ribbon with an iron-clad determination only thinly disguised by her perfect coiffure and flawless manners, bless her heart.

It’s time for café owners Cathy aI nd Marty and their best friend Trixie to pull out their secret weapon. And this is where a lifetime of friendship, combined with just the right recipe at just the right time, might carry the day—or blow everything to smithereens.

Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the jalapeños are hot, the gossip is hotter, and at the end of the day, it’s the priceless friendships that are left standing…

Set in the small town of Cadillac, any adventure the characters have is spread around the town – whether it is true or not. Everyone is in everyone’s business and there aren’t many secrets in this small town.

I absolutely loved getting to know Trixie, Marty, Cathy, Darla Jean and Agnes! These characters were developed with such depth and yet are tied together with an everlasting bond. From divorces, to shot guns, to weddings and more, these women all protect one another and support each other emotionally. Each of these characters grows throughout the novel, healing their hearts from the past.

Like every good novel, there must be a villain. And in The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee, it is Violet, who has hold over the entire town. There was nothing more fun than reading the scenes where Agnes stands up for the girls. Once you hear what Agnes does to the fudge, you may never look at this sweet treat the same way.

While you encounter a ton of themes in this book, whether it be friendship, sorrow or frustration, the biggest theme to me is hope. It comes in the form of Agnes’ love of the girls, through Darla Jean’s transformation and through Cathy’s growth pattern. This book was not what I thought it would be; it was a lot, lot more.

Have you read a good book lately that realizes showcases these themes? Share them in the comments section. I’m off to eat a jalapeño.

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