Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Women’s Lit/ Contemporary Fiction
Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words
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Johnee Cherry says she “was born in Arkansas, played in Louisiana, and lived in Texas. Mostly in a small border town called Texarkana. It's just about a mile from here to there. And you still aren't anywhere. It's the kind of town in which you can stand on the steps of a Baptist church and lob a rock across State Line Road to hit the front door of the liquor store.”
For more, visit Ms. Cherry’s blog.
“When the damaged, but privileged Beau Smith shows up looking for redemption for his crimes, Bitzy, a simple chicken-farmer's daughter, has to wrestle with all the reasons why she should not take him back. Beau committed the worst crime a man can do, he made a big mistake, an accident happened, but instead of facing his wrongs, he abandoned his family.
Bitzy's best friend, Wes, arrives long-faced and moony with his wife-packed suitcase on the same night Beau returns. Beau has brought his ailing best friend, Spectrum Wallace, hoping for a place to let the man rest. Dot, Bitzy's sister, shows up to "help" Bitzy make the right decision. Of course, Bitzy has to let Stormie, their daughter, know that her "daddy" has popped back up in the world.
The story intertwines with Beau's star-stuck love for Bitzy in high school, to Wes's romantic ideas about Bitzy, to Leon Smith's hard-edged rules he serves up for Beau, until all their mistakes come home to be faced. Bitzy ends up with a houseful of other women's husbands, who all need her to love them in her special way: unconditional, completely, and forever and always. Which man will Bitzy choose in the end? Can Beau ask for redemption at this late date? Will Leon ever be forgiven for the harm he caused?”
Wanna read about someone else’s dysfunctional family? Sadly, I am from Oklahoma and could identify with far too many of these characters, LOL! That being said, I had a hard time feeling invested with any of them. I found the story disjointed with all the time hopping back and forth between past and present. It was never clear until well into a chapter where the author had taken us, which made the story difficult to follow and interrupted the flow of the story. The chapter headings didn’t help any in this regard either.
I think there is a good story here but it needs a lot of polishing in refining the time shifts and other editing as a whole. There are several characters in this story that include friends and extended family, they were unique, diverse, and pretty pathetic all around. Despite this, a few had some redeeming qualities. The topics are serious with a lot of truths exposed about small town, USA. Anyone who enjoyed August Osage County might enjoy this book also.
There is a small amount of adult language and drug usage.
Far more than an acceptable level of editing issues need to be addressed in this book. From copy editing to proofing errors that range from missing words, extra words, to just plain ol’ wrong words like homonym errors.
Rating: ** Two stars