Tuesday, September 4, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Book 74 "A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty"

Joshilyn Jackson became my favorite contemporary writer when I heard her speak a few years ago at a writing conference, and she still holds the crown.

The Slocumb women don't have skeletons in the closet: they keep them buried in the back yard.

Told from three POVs, this is the story of Big, Liza, and Mosey.  Big (who's name is Ginny, but to her family, she's always been Big) is in her third "trouble year": every fifteen years, without fail, God throws her a curve ball and tries to bring her down.  When she was 15, she got pregnant.  When she was 30, her daughter, Liza, got pregnant and took off with the baby.  And now, at 45, her world is crumbling.  Liza eventually came back with the baby, Mosey, but when the willow tree in the back yard gives up its secrets, Big and Mosey must struggle to make since of the truth.  Liza tries to help, but she's just had a terrible stroke, so she relies on slow puzzles to make her point.  This amazing novel explores Jackson's common themes of motherhood and what it takes to make a family. 

I can't wait to read more from this stunning author.  I described her style to my husband as "sweet southern crack": I just can't get enough of her voice and her emotional tales!

Check out what the other 100 books participants are reading and cheer them on as we enter the last quarter of the year.


9 comments:

  1. I read this one, too, Jen, and enjoyed it as well! Also had a really cool cover! I hope to read more of her novels - I am a BIG fan of Southern fiction!

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    2. Ah, computers. Glad you liked it, Claire! If you haven't read Gods in Alabama yet, that should be her next one you pick up.

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    3. Thanks Jen, will put that one on my list!

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    4. How is the list going, by the by? Making progress towards 100?

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  2. Jackson is amazing! I've read everything she's written and I'll continue to do so. :)

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    1. She's something else, isn't she, Dana? :)

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  3. I really didn't like A Grown Up Kind of Pretty at all, but I would like to read more from the author just the same. I enjoyed her writing style, just didn't like the book or the story.

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    1. Karen, that's too bad! What didn't you like? She deals heavily with the themes of family and motherhood in her work: I also love Gods in Alabama. I hope you'll give her another shot!

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