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Review: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

February 16, 2012

Thirty year old Liza Slocumb has suffered a stroke and water therapy seems to help her, so her mother, Virginia (Big), decides to have a pool installed in their backyard.   Big expects something bad to happen every fifteen years, and this is the year, so she’s not all that surprised when the bones of a baby are unearthed as they’re digging for the pool.   Liza’s fifteen year old daughter, Mosey, thinks she knows whose bones they are and sets out to figure out the truth.   Liza knows the truth but, after her stroke, can’t verbalize it.  Big figures things out and all she wants to do is protect Mosey, so that the truth doesn’t destroy their family.

I think Joshilyn Jackson has outdone herself with her newest book, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty!  It’s a wonderful story of mothers and daughters that includes a little mystery, some conflict, and a whole lot of love.  It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming and I just loved it.

The novel is set in Mississippi and, as you would expect, Jackson gets it just right.  The town, the people, and the dialogue are all perfect reflections of the Deep South.

The Slocumb women are fantastic characters.  Having three generations of strong women living under the same roof can’t be easy and these three certainly have their challenges – first, Liza’s stroke and then the discovery of the bones.  Is their love strong enough to pull them through?

Told from the points of view of all three women, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a treat!  I think it’s Jackson’s best and that’s saying a lot since she’s one of my favorite authors.  Pick this one up when you have plenty of time to read, because it will capture you right from the start.  Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

57 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2012 4:14 am

    You have almost convinced me that I need to try this. The last time I experienced one of her books it was via audio book. Not sure if I will do that this time or actually read it.

  2. February 16, 2012 6:31 am

    I haven’t read anything from Joshilyn Jackson but I really need to put her on my wish list. I really love books set in the South and this one sounds really good. Thanks for reviewing this one, I saw it released and was wondering if it was good.

  3. February 16, 2012 6:56 am

    I have not read this author, but this one sounds like one I’d enjoy…with the southern setting and the mothers and daughters relationship.

  4. February 16, 2012 7:58 am

    I’m a JJ fan so this is on my list. I’ve been thinking of listening to the audiobook. Have you heard anything about it? Either way, your review has convinced me to read it soon!

    • February 16, 2012 8:35 am

      Joshilyn read the audiobook, so I assume it’s good. I’ll be hosting a giveaway for the book in print soon!

  5. February 16, 2012 8:40 am

    If you love Southern novels, she’s a must-read. This was one of my favorites of hers, too!

  6. February 16, 2012 9:11 am

    I can’t wait to read her newest! But maybe this time I should try the audio!

  7. February 16, 2012 9:23 am

    I am a huge Jackson fan…and this is certainly on my list!

  8. February 16, 2012 10:09 am

    I’m really excited to read this one!!

  9. February 16, 2012 10:23 am

    Squeeeee! It sounds wonderful. I can’t wait!

  10. February 16, 2012 10:25 am

    I read this last week. I enjoy her novels so much. Having not experience much of the south… I feel the charm in her writing.

    Glad you enjoyed the book!

  11. February 16, 2012 10:46 am

    You’re always so enthusiastic about this author, so I know I must read one of her books soon!

  12. February 16, 2012 10:53 am

    Ooh I want to clap my hands in excitement. I have already put this on my tbr pile. I do like the way Jackson writes.

  13. February 16, 2012 10:57 am

    So glad that you enjoyed this! I haven’t read any of Jackson’s works, but now I am curious.

  14. February 16, 2012 11:51 am

    I wanted to go along and reply to everyone that left comments here. Just finished this one on audio today and it was absolutely WONDERFUL. As always, Jackson knocks it out of the park with her girlish Southern voice. She has such a way with words…very quirky and full of humor even when bad things are happening, because I truly believe that is what Southerners do! I’m not sure if this one tops Gods in Alabama, but it comes darned close.

  15. kaye permalink
    February 16, 2012 12:02 pm

    If it is anything like her Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Swimming, it must be really good. I couldn’t put that one down for anything.

  16. February 16, 2012 12:06 pm

    I love this cover. And, knowing that it is told from multiple points of view I really want to read it now. I love that in a great story.

  17. February 16, 2012 12:42 pm

    I really want to read this one, but so far it hasn’t shown up at my library!

  18. February 16, 2012 12:47 pm

    I loved this book too, and think it is one of her best.

  19. February 16, 2012 12:49 pm

    Sounds like my kind of book.

  20. February 16, 2012 12:57 pm

    I just started Gods in Alabama the other day on audio, and I am really into it! I had never read anything by Jackson before, but I find her writing to be warm and witty, and a lot of fun. She has a knack for capturing a lot of sensitive issues as well. I am waiting for this one to come from the library on audio as well, and now I am super excited about it! Great review, Kathy!

  21. Carol Wong permalink
    February 16, 2012 2:32 pm

    I already have this book on my list but I am delighted to read this glowing review.

    Carol Wong

  22. February 16, 2012 2:40 pm

    Ooooh…this sounds way more than wonderful…lovely words you wrote about it…

  23. February 16, 2012 2:40 pm

    This sounds wonderful. I enjoy Southern fiction and the cover on this book is lovely too.

  24. February 16, 2012 2:50 pm

    Great review! I’m definitely going to have to get this book!

  25. February 16, 2012 3:11 pm

    I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her books. I don’t know where I’ve been. I have this on my Nook (thanks NetGalley) I’m going to bump it up in my rotation. Thanks

  26. February 16, 2012 3:16 pm

    I would love to win and read this one.

  27. February 16, 2012 3:55 pm

    I just want to read it cos of the warm and inviting cover 🙂

  28. February 16, 2012 4:36 pm

    I’ve had Joshilyn Jackson on my must-read-authors list. Looks like I need to get to it before she writes some more and then I won’t be able to catch up.

  29. February 16, 2012 5:22 pm

    I have to say, this one sounds pretty darn good. I like books that center around mothers and daughters, too.

  30. February 16, 2012 6:15 pm

    Glad u liked this book Kathy. I do like this author a lot, and plan on reading this one soon. (Too many books — too little time –story of my life:(

  31. February 16, 2012 8:04 pm

    I love Jocelyn Jackson, so I plan on reading this. thanks.

  32. February 16, 2012 9:03 pm

    Sounds like I’m going to have to give Jackson another chance!

  33. February 16, 2012 9:14 pm

    I think this sounds fantastic! I may have to try this one!

  34. February 16, 2012 9:45 pm

    You made a believer out of me after I listened to BACKSEAT SAINTS … I will read anything she writes or scrawls on the back of an envelope!

  35. February 16, 2012 10:54 pm

    This sounds fulgent! Can’t wait 🙂

  36. February 16, 2012 10:58 pm

    Kathy, this sounds absolutely wonderful. I will keep an eye out for this book.

  37. February 17, 2012 12:24 am

    I just got the audio edition of this one out from the library – can’t wait to listen to it!

  38. February 17, 2012 12:41 am

    Hi Kathy,

    This is another new to me author, but definitely one that I shall be adding to my reading list, right near the top.

    I love everything about this one.

    Joshilyn has a fantastic site, which like all of her book jackets has a brilliant clean and fresh look to it.

    All of her books seem deal with realistic relationship issues.

    Finally, from what all your other contributors are saying, she also narrates her own audiobooks, which, even though I personally don’t like audiobooks, has to be a huge plus. One of my gripes about the audiobook market has always been that the author should narrate their own work, as they know exactly how they want it to sound to the reader, rather than having a ‘voice over’ put their own interpretation into it.

    Finally, I have never read any true ‘Southern’ US books and this seems like a great place to start that journey.

    Nice review, as always.

  39. February 17, 2012 11:16 am

    I always love reading books that are set in the South. The cover of this definitely caught my eye!

  40. February 17, 2012 2:08 pm

    It sounds wonderful..I do love books set in the South too.

  41. February 17, 2012 2:21 pm

    I tried one of her earlier books and didn’t love it. Maybe I should try again.

  42. February 17, 2012 3:25 pm

    Jackson has quickly become one of my favorite authors, too — she writes such fabulous, vivid characters! I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

  43. February 17, 2012 7:19 pm

    This does sound good … I’d pretty much read anything Jackson writes but this sounds really awesome. I think I’ll see if she narrates it on audio … if she does, that is the way I’m going with it.

  44. February 17, 2012 7:26 pm

    I love Jackson so I will definitely be reading this one soon. She is awesome, seriously.

  45. February 17, 2012 7:27 pm

    Oh my gosh…I absolutely HAVE to read this book. She is one of my favorites also…love her Southern humor!

  46. February 17, 2012 9:16 pm

    It’s your favorite? I guess I have a new book to start with for Jackson.

  47. February 17, 2012 10:24 pm

    I haven’t read one of here books in forever, but this one sounds great!! For some reason I never paid attention to it even though I knew it was coming out. I think I’ve been picky with “southern fiction” lately. But she’ll be at the UCF book festival, so maybe I should try to read it before then.. great review!

  48. February 17, 2012 11:06 pm

    I have read all of her books (she’s a GA girl so I feel I absolutely must) but for some reason have not been inspired to pick this one up – perhaps because the last one i read just didn’t live up to gods in alabama for me – but after reading your review, i’m going to find this one to read!

  49. February 18, 2012 8:59 am

    Geesh…now I think I have to read this within the month!! Loved your review and I’m hooked on this author’s storytelling!

  50. February 18, 2012 5:55 pm

    In my opinion Jackson is one of the best modern Southern writers. I will definitely check this new one out.

  51. February 18, 2012 9:36 pm

    I hope our library gets this soon so I can read it. I’ve read a couple of Jackson’s books and loved them . Her characters are such fun!

  52. February 18, 2012 9:37 pm

    I love JJ – can’t wait for this one. Wonder if the library here might get it on audio – her reading it is the best!

  53. February 19, 2012 6:36 am

    I’ve been hit or miss with this author, but I’m thinking I may give this one a go.

  54. February 19, 2012 12:40 pm

    Looks like a good one I’d like! Thanks for sharing…now I need to find a copy. 🙂

  55. Carol M permalink
    February 21, 2012 2:34 pm

    I really want to read this! It sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway!

  56. February 22, 2012 10:57 am

    I’m so glad you liked this one. I can’t wait to read it!

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