Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not Afraid, Really I'm Not

Reviewed by Phee Paradise
Just Between You and Me by Jennie B. Jones

Maggie Montgomery tells her story in a flippant, I-don’t-care voice that’s meant to hide her fears. She isn’t fooling herself, and she doesn’t fool the reader, who is privy to her thoughts. She doesn’t even fool the few people who love her enough to see through the bravado. She’s a successful, independent woman who has left behind the small town where she wildly tried to get people to notice her. Now she returns to help her dad with her troubled niece.

On the surface, Just Between You and Me is about a distressed family trying to find its way. Or it’s the story of a girl who comes home to reconcile her past so she can move forward with her life. But it’s really a tender love story. Through the people Maggie can’t push away, Jones shows us the many layers of love. There’s her father who has never been kind to her, but loves her sister and niece in a way Maggie can’t understand. And there’s her niece who needs a firm, loving hand. And there’s her sister, who needs help, but blames Maggie for all of her problems. And most of all, there’s Connor, who reaches through the façade to help her face her fears.

Books written in first person, present tense can be awkward but from the first paragraph, this voice was exactly right for this story. Jones does it so naturally, it feels like you’re following Maggie around watching her life, while she gives you a running commentary on it. Her humor and honesty about her feelings makes it a fascinating story to watch. I hope you don’t miss it.

Pros: Great voice telling an absorbing story of love and victory.

Cons: Women will probably enjoy this more than men, unless men want a glimpse into a woman’s head.

I didn't have time to review Just Between You and Me for the blog tour, but I'm really glad I took the time to read it. If you want to see a synopsis and author bio, click here.

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