Between, Georgia was also a 1 BookSense pick, which gave Jackson the distinction of being the first author to receive that status in two consecutive years. Jackson also won the Listen Up award from Publisher's Weekly for her audio book reading. Her newest book is entitled, Backseat Saints. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. Joshilyn Jackson. Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts.
David retrieves Laurel's parents to help out, Laurel reacts by making up with her wild sister Thalia and bringing her back to Victorianna as well. It just should have been a much longer book. There are all sorts of family secrets coming out, some easily foretold. The mystery is never really fully played out as a mystery, the family dysfunction falls short of making it an Oprah book, the cheating spouse isn't really cheating, and the "I can see dead people" role never makes it to the forefront either.
View 1 comment. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Joshilyn Jackson is perfectly ok with having her heros murder people. It's true that the people that are offed mostly need killing, but still. Killing someone in the past seems to be her nasty secret of choice in both this book and Gods in Alabama which I preferred.
This book started out really strong, but I think totally lost its way at the end. Her characterization of Bet and the town she came from didn't ring true to me. They were too stereotypical to be believed. And in both this book and G Joshilyn Jackson is perfectly ok with having her heros murder people. And in both this book and Gods in Alabama, I felt like I should have seen the end coming, but didn't. That makes me feel stupid, which I don't enjoy.
Although that isn't her fault. Regardless, this book was a disappointment to me. View 2 comments. Apr 29, Fonda rated it did not like it. Loved the other two but reading this one was like watching a predictable Lifetime movie. I too thoughtit was too Ghost Whispery.
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If you are going to the trouble to put a ghost into a book then at least be original. Another thing that bugged me was the folksy language. I don't think people in the modern South really talk or act this way. This book was set in the Panhandle but Laurel, etc talked like characters from the other books that were set in Georgia. Forced myself to keep re Loved the other two but reading this one was like watching a predictable Lifetime movie.
Forced myself to keep reading. It felt exaggerated and forced. Sep 02, Tania rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. Just what I needed - a quick easy read, requiring little to no brain power. That said I have to admit that I did not see the ending coming. I see that a lot of people complain about the fact that this author's characters are very much stereotypes, I have to agree, but for me that is one of the things I like about her books. I go in knowing exactly what to expect. I also liked that she is not scared of writing strong, difficult woman. Perfect beach read.
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Jun 10, Jess Van Dyne-Evans rated it liked it. I was so excited for this book. SO excited. And then this book was really hard to get through. Well, that's not totally true. The first pages were too much information at once and yet not enough. I had to keep reminding myself that all these mish-mashes of plot would come together sooner or later, and the jumble of characters would make sense.
This knowledge would only be apparent to I was so excited for this book.
This knowledge would only be apparent to people who have read the authors' other two books, so I fear for her brand new readers. There were so many interesting but dropped things about this book - Laurel, the main character, makes art quilts - but they're mentioned only a few times, and don't seem to have anything to do with the story. Laurel's mother comes from extreme poverty, but we're never told HOW she managed to get herself or her husband, who seems like a man dreaming his way through life and her children OUT of DeLop. The squatters settlement or metaphor for Hell featured in the book.
There are these confusing scenes where Laurel and her sister accost a neighbor who they suspect of being a child molester to find out if he's gay or not while a page later they're busy getting another neighbor drunk. It all made sense the last fifty pages and was pretty enjoyable!
Mar 22, Kendra rated it liked it. I gave this author's first book a 5 and her second book a I think she had a good idea with this book, but it just didn't come together in the right way for me. To me, it felt as though there was simply too much going on - a new mystery, an old mystery, marriage problems, sister problems, mother-daughter problems.
Oh, and an offensively st I gave this author's first book a 5 and her second book a Oh, and an offensively stereotyped southern town populated entirely by toothless meth addicts who don't care about their children or know about indoor plumbing View all 5 comments. This would make a great Lifetime movie. As a book, it moved too slowly. It took a really long time to move from the initiating action girl drowned in pool to any subsequent action because the main character Laurel kept revisiting her past.
Truly, she is haunted by her past, and it's not as if the plot and characters were without merit. But I skimmed over a lot of paragraphs in order to get the story moving and maintain my interest.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
View all 3 comments. This was a waste of time.
I think JJ must have been presured to write and book and this was all she came up with. I loved gods and between, but this one stunk. Only redeming quality was Thalia. I wish she just took that chatacther and went another direction. Jackson does what she does best in this book - create slightly crazy, thoroughly believable, deeply Southern characters. As always, Jackson does a good job of creating an interesting plot to surround and propel her characters forward. There were things I liked - and didn't like - about the main character. I'm not sure whether the characteristics that I liked about her remind me of myself or whether it's the ones I don't like.
I know that Jackson does what she does best in this book - create slightly crazy, thoroughly believable, deeply Southern characters. I know that I am too quick to avoid confrontation and the older I get, the more I see this as a character flaw. How far would I have to be pushed to willingly engage in debate or outright conflict on behalf of my daughters, my family or myself?
Since Watership Down is one of my favorite books of all time, I loved the comparison of one of the characters to Cowslip. I don't want to "cowslip" my life away by not taking a stand when I should. I don't want to see others hurting and turn away because I can. If you have lived in a small southern town - or want insight into the unique, off kilter psyches bred there - I think you'll enjoy this book! Apr 02, Megan rated it it was ok.
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I was very disappointed in this book. The plot was decent but moved way to slow. Laurel Gray Hawthorne's life in Florida in a lovely gated community is a far cry from the town in Alabama where her mother grew up. And although she, her mother, and her sister Thalia visit DeLop every Christmas with presents for the poor relatives, there is no emotional connection between them.
It is almost as though Laurel's mother has wiped the mud off of her shoes whenever she leaves the town behind, and has taught her daughters to do the same. But Laurel is plagued by ghosts of the past in t Laurel Gray Hawthorne's life in Florida in a lovely gated community is a far cry from the town in Alabama where her mother grew up. But Laurel is plagued by ghosts of the past in the form of Uncle Marty, whose death was a shooting accident. But there are shadowy memories that hint at something else. Protected and cocooned on Chapel Circle, though, Laurel feels safe as long as she can keep the ghost outside her home.
But then one night in the summer, another ghost comes into her room. A blond girl, who leads her outside to the swimming pool From this point on, "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" leads the reader through many twists and turns, as Laurel and her sister Thalia try to sort out what happened to the girl, who was a neighbor named Molly. Did Laurel's daughter Shelby know more than she is saying? And what does mysterious Bet Clemmens, visiting from DeLop, know? Does the strange single man living in an adjacent neighborhood have anything to do with the death?
Or are Molly's violently quarreling parents the villains in this piece? Meanwhile, Thalia is determined to rescue her sister from what she believes to be the deadly placidity of her life. Will she succeed? Or will Laurel finally discover what truly makes her happy? This was a wonderfully colorful and suspenseful tale that kept clutching at me as I turned the pages, trying to guess what would happen. I felt uneasy about one or more of the characters all along, feeling suspicious of them and wanting to point fingers.
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Older Post. Before you comment The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required. Enter your WordPress. Follow Xpress mxarts mxeat mxenv mxnews mountainx.
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