Someone Else's Love Story

Someone Else's Love Story

by Joshilyn Jackson

Gail Reid (03/14/14): "Someone Else's Love Story" is actually a novel with multiple love stories of one fashion or another. Shandi, a young single mother of 3-year old son Natty, is moving from the country to the city. The only child of a Christian mother in rural Georgia and a Jewish father in urban Atlanta, Shandi doesn't quite fit into either world.

While moving to Atlanta, Shandi and Natty stop for snacks at a roadside mart when the place is held up. Another shopper, William thinks quickly, intervenes and protects the pair. As you might imagine, Shandi develops a crush on William whose own love story has been shattered by a recent tragedy.

How William helps Shandi find Natty's father; how friendship can sometimes turn into love; and how tragedy forces us to re-examine our relationships are all themes that are explored creatively in this book.

For the most part, I did like the way the characters are presented. There is a certain wackiness to Shandi and her long-suffering poet friend Walcott that make them stand out as original and often humorous. However,the author employs some negative stereotyping which is unforgivable and marred the overall reading experience for me.
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton (12/21/13): When I read an article about Joshilyn Jackson in the AJC, she was quoted as saying "I feel as if I write Christian fiction, which is pretty funny because no Christian press would touch me with a 10-foot pole," Now I understand why. Her characters in this book all come from a myriad of backgrounds -- Catholic, atheistic with a strong bent towards science, and an interfaith family (half Jewish, half Christian) -- as well as the son of two lesbian parents -- each with his/her own personal beliefs and faith, with no judgement from the author. In fact, what I really like is how Jackson creates a character that society might judge to be a "loser," and then shows how, with love and support, the person can be all the things we value….smart, kind, loyal and loving. The "love" story holds your interest and, as she also said in the interview, she really knows her characters. I liked her character development, the quick pace of the story, and the way the story unfolds to reveal different kinds of love. An interesting read. 4 -
Rating: ****-

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