Thursday, April 29, 2010

My take on: Between, Georgia

I don’t know about everyone else, but if I like one book by a certain author I’m certain to go back for more. At the end of God’s in Alabama there’s a teaser to Joshilyn Jackson’s second novel Between, Georgia. Ms. Jackson got me again.

Nonny Frett came into the world amid turmoil. Her birth mother Hazel Crabtree literally gave her up to the Frett family after giving birth in their living room. Ever since she has been caught between two dueling families. The Fretts and the seemingly crazy Crabtrees control the small town of Between, Georgia.

Nonny Frett is raised by her mother Stacia, who is deaf and blind, and her aunt Genny, who is teetering on the edge of insanity. When the granddame of the Crabtree family, the crazy alcoholic Ona, finds out she has a granddaughter there is no peace between the two families. Nonny visits Ona as a young child, but the kibosh is quickly put on that. Ever since Nonny’s aunt Bernese, the head of the Frett family, and Ona trade deadly looks in town. At a moment’s notice Ona can call on her crazy relatives to terrorize the Frett family or better yet sic her dog “The Bitch” (that’s not me using colorful language that is how the dog is referred to in the book!) on Genny.

The first chance she gets, Nonny uses her college degree to get out of town. It leads to a career as a sign language interpreter. A failed marriage to the complicated Jonno follows. But if you can’t guess already the turmoil between the two families constantly draws her back home. Everything soon comes to a head for Nonny. Her impending divorce and a family crisis cause Nonny to finally decide what she wants in life.

If you haven’t noticed I tend to like books that involve some kind of family strife. I’ve got no answers on that. I can relate more to family matters than the latest sci-fi novel, which I will read some day. The subject matter of Between, Georgia might sound overly dramatic, serious, but Jackson does it with spot-on humor. She explores what it truly means have family and a sense of belonging. Check it out!

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