Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
Published by Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette
Nonny has always lived her life as a balancing act between her two families – her family of origin, the Crabtrees, and her adoptive family, the Fretts – as a result of the fact that the two family matriarchs have a long-standing hatred of one another and rivalry between them. She’s also got two mothers – her adoptive mother Stacia who is both deaf and blind and Stacia’s twin sister Jenny who is mentally unstable. She’s dealing with two men who have laid claim to her heart – a husband she’s trying to divorce and her childhood best friend who she’s beginning to see in a different light. Now an incident in her hometown of Between, Georgia brings Nonny home to deal with the Crabtree/Frett fued and attempt to clean up the messes left from years of fighting between the two families.
I am starting to realize that Joshilyn Jackson is one of the best writers of Southern fiction out there. Between, Georgia is the second novel of hers I’ve read and I enjoyed it just as much as Gods in Alabama. She has a way of writing fully realized, interesting characters and creating a true sense of place in her novels. I’m just so happy I’ve discovered her! (This is thanks mostly to Sandy, who inspired me to not only read Jackson but also to listen to her books on audio, a decision I’m extremely happy with.)
I loved Nonny and sympathized with her immediately. Oftentimes I find myself being the peacemaker of my family too, so I completely understood the position she was in. She was the only person in her family who truly got along with everyone, and all she wanted was some peace for everyone. Every time it seemed like she was making progress, another conflict would crop up or another incident would occur and it was almost like she was back at square one. It was extremely frustrating for Nonny, but I have to say that it was certainly enjoyable to read about!
The sense of place that Jackson manages to create in her books astounds me. Reading Between, Georgia was like being transported to Georgia and it was just done so perfectly. In general, her writing is fabulous but the fact that she can evoke such a feeling of being in the south for me is the best part about Jackson’s writing.
I already mentioned how I love Jackson in audio format, and Between, Georgia was no different. I loved this audio because Joshilyn Jackson narrates the book herself and she has a perfect light Southern accent and does the voices of the characters extremely well. The inflection in her voice is spot-on and she kept me on the edge of my seat with her narration of the story. I would definitely recommend the audio version of this book.
Between, Georgia is a fantastic Southern fiction novel that I absolutely would recommend. I loved the characters, the setting, and the entire experience of listening to it. I will happily read the rest of Jackson’s books in the very near future!