Armed with a Crock-Pot and a pile of recipes, a grandmother, her granddaughter, and a mysterious young man work to bring a community together in this uplifting novel for readers of The Chicken Sisters.

Esther Larson has been cooking for funerals in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for seventy years. Known locally as the “funeral ladies,” she and her cohort have worked hard to keep the mourners of Ellerie County fed–it is her firm belief that there is very little a warm casserole and a piece of cherry pie can’t fix. But, after falling for an internet scam that puts her home at risk, the proud Larson family matriarch is the one in need of help these days.

It doesn’t seem like a community cookbook could possibly solve their problems, especially one where casseroles have their own section and cream of chicken soup mix is the most frequently used ingredient. But when you mix the can-do spirit of Midwestern grandmothers with the stubborn hope of a boy raised by food plus a dash of long-awaited forgiveness–things might just turn out okay.

And this new novel…

In 1924, four-year-old Cecily Larson’s mother reluctantly drops her off at an orphanage in Chicago, promising to be back once she’s made enough money to support both Cecily and herself. But she never returns, and shortly after high-spirited Cecily turns seven, she is sold to a traveling circus to perform as the “little sister” to glamorous bareback rider Isabelle DuMonde. With Isabelle and the rest of the circus, Cecily finally feels she’s found the family she craves. But as the years go by, the cracks in her little world begin to show. And when teenage Cecily meets and falls in love with a young roustabout named Lucky, she finds her life thrown onto an entirely unexpected–and dangerous–course.

In 2015, Cecily is now 94 and living a quiet life in Minnesota, with her daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandson. But when her family decides to surprise her with an at-home DNA test, the unexpected results not only bring to light the tragic love story that Cecily has kept hidden for decades but also throw into question everything about the family she’s raised and claimed as her own for nearly seventy years. Cecily and everyone in her life must now decide who they really are and what family–and forgiveness–really mean.



MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024

4:00 pm Board of Control Meeting

Ville Platte Main Library

916 West Main Street, Ville Platte, Louisiana 70586

(If you have a disability, please notify us ahead of time for accommodations)

  1. Opening Business
  1. Call to Order, Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval/Amendment of Agenda
  4. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting
  5. Public Comments on Agenda Items
  1. Old Business
  2. Update from the Basile new library committee. Minutes attached. (Faye Langley). The first Bid Advertisement was published in the Ville Platte Gazette on 4/26/24. See the AD in your packet.
  1. New Business
  1. Ted Lavergne, Facilities Manager, has given his notice. His last day will be May 31, 2024. We’re planning a retirement gathering on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 9 am.
  2. We are advertising for a Facilities / Maintenance / Grounds Keeper employee for 32 hrs/week @ $15/hr. The last day to apply is May 17, 2024. See the AD in your packet.
  3. Request to redefine the current management of the Evangeline Parish Library system giving the current co-managers, Emily Fontenot and Suzy Lemoine, full managerial duties over the library. The pay classification would change to Library System Manager with the appropriate step increase in pay.
  4. Request to have Keishia Ford assume the duties as the Main library Branch Manager with the appropriate step increase in pay.
  5. Request to have Lisa Godeaux assume the duties of Cataloging with the appropriate step increase in pay. Wesley will be retiring in December 2024 and it will be difficult to replace him so we’d like to begin her training now.
  6. Notice: Effective May1, 2024, Suzy Lemoine was removed from our insurance policy saving the library approximately $8,000 in premium. She now qualifies for 92% Medicare reimbursement from the Police Jury separately.
  7. 2023 Annual Report Binder is now complete and available for review.
  8. Acknowledgement of the generous donation from Wood, Inc., an affiliate of  Cabot Corporation.
  1. Reports
  1. Financial Report
  2. Facilities Report
  3. Outreach Report
  • Next Board Meeting is July 15, 2024 @ 4 pm
  • Adjournment  

The Library Board of Control and staff from around the Parish would like to extend a very warm, heartfelt THANK YOU for making our 2024 Spring Library Fest a huge success! We are so blessed to be able to promote our local authors, cooks, vendors, crafters and community organizations! We are already planning our Fall Fest that will include a huge used book sale!
Our two “Artists of the Month” of May is Cathy Ashlock and Stacey Perrodin. Their art is on display in the Main library in Ville Platte and we invite the public to come by and be AMAZED at their talent!
The “Chair Exercise” program at the main library is so popular that we’re posting all of the dates early: May 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 20th, and the 22nd. Please join in and invite others to come too!
A new program to help folks understand money will be hosted by Monica Ben on Saturday, May 11, 2024 @ 9 am – 11 am. This is a free workshop called “How Money Works”. Please share.
Early notice: The Evangeline Parish Library Board of Control will meet on May 13, 2024 @ 4 pmat the Main Library. An agenda will be posted. The public is invited to attend.
Visit the Facebook page of your favorite library branch to see information about programs unique to them. Also, visit our website<> for updates. You can always call the main library @ 337-363-1369 or send an email to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> for more information and never forget that libraries do change lives…. even in the cloud! Suzy Lemoine.


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