Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher/Format: Hachette Audio, 9 hrs, 11 min
Narrator: Joshilyn Jackson
Characters: an entire cast of Fretts and Crabtrees
Subject: family rivalries, small town life, Usher's Syndrome
Setting: fictional town of Between, Georgia
Genre: fiction
Source: public library audio download

Joshilyn Jackson is an author I'd never heard of until this past year.  Her southern fiction is quickly finding a place on the list of books I know I'll enjoy just because her name is on them.  This one is no exception.

Between, Georgia is the name of the town in which  Nonny Frett, is raised by her twin aunts- one of whom suffers from Usher's Syndrome: she was deaf, and gradually lost her sight. So Nonny was raised knowing ASL (American Sign Language).  Her mom's deafness however was only one part of the story. It's a hard story to review without giving away a plot full of rivalries that would make Shakespeare salute. 

Basically, two families, the Fretts and the Crabtrees are somehow related, but also somehow always finding ways to be mean to each other.  Born a Crabtree but adopted by the Fretts, Nonny finds herself caught between the two, and trying to help them reconcile.  There are grandmothers and aunts galore, and several cousins who can be called upon to come over the Alabama state line to deliver 'whoopins' when needed.  There are also kissing cousins who are ready to defend their women folk against the baddie cousins.  There are  betrayals, disasters, and a heart pounding conclusion keeping the pages turning.The plot is not too complicated and the whole book is an easy read.

I listened to parts of this in the audio version so I didn't want to have to stop "reading" while I was unable to sit and sight read.  The author does a credible job narrating her own story (one of the few who do).  This is a one good summer read and if you haven't read any of Jackson's works, this is a good place to start.


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