Do you ever want to read about a serious topic, but not get dragged into the mire? Do you ever want to escape into a fun story but find the confection so light it's about to blow in the wind? Maybe you want a balance--something real and relevant, with enough humor to get those happy endorphins pumping. That's the kind of read you'll get from Jenny B. Jones's Just Between You and Me.
Just Between You and Me is the story about a world-traveling cinematographer, Maggie Montgomery, who is called back home by her curmudgeon father to help him take care of her sister's abandoned, preteen daughter. She's forced to reacquaint herself with a town population lined up to remind her of all the bad stuff she did to them in her pre-Christ life, while learning how to hear God's call and step out in faith.
Maggie needs to reconcile her feelings toward a hate-filled sister who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while learning to raise a disdainful child whose been victimized by neglect. But if you think all this sounds too heavy, think again. The reader is taken through the dynamics of a very serious disorder and the dysfunction left in its wake, with just the right amount of humor to keep you afloat. We are entertained, inspired and even a little better informed on the other side.
One of the things I love about this book is its lack of preachiness. Too often, I read novels where the author seems to feel he has the answer to the problem. As in dealing with the effects of bipolar and schizophrenia, life doesn't always come with one right answer. Families dealing with serious issues sometimes just need to muddle through, leaning heavily on Jesus in the everyday, and loving each other as best they can, while providing appropriate boundaries to protect the vulnerable.
I love Ms. Jones's three-dimensional characters as well. There are no cardboard cut-outs here. They own pasts and presents, act wrongly and rightly, are likeable and sometimes need a little work. The relationships don't all just fall into place. They grow through time over many a bumpy road and misdirected step.
And yes, there's a little romance too. I'm a sucker for a good romance and Ms. Jones writes some of the best, with just the right amount of banter between her protagonists to make it fun.
So that's it. Real, relevant, funny and romantic. What more could you ask for?- Review date: 12/3/13, written by Connie Almony of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Publisher: Women of Faith / Thomas Nelson
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