Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
What a sneaky book! But sneaky in a good way. As in – be sure you have a chunk of time available before you start to read this book, because it won’t let go of you very easily. It’s not a 15-minutes here, 20-minutes there kind of book. It’ll grab your attention and the next thing you know, it’s a happy hour or more later.
Henry Adams is a small town in Kansas. It just doesn’t realize it is a small town. Everyone there knows everyone else, and that’s the way they all want it to be. No matter how old you are, or what color skin you might have, everyone is treated the same way – with kindness and respect. It looks after its own.
It came as somewhat of a shock to TC Barbour – a gentleman of a certain age – to discover all this for himself. When he was hired to be the town’s driver, he couldn’t believe his good fortune, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the townsfolk as he took them here or there, as they needed. He could be talkative or silent, listen to music or keep silent, and always dressed well for the position. It didn’t take him long to discover that Ms. Genevieve Gibbs was his favorite passenger.
She was also of a certain age, having parted ways with her errant husband some years earlier after his prize hog trashed their house. Man and hog took it on the lam to California, where it was hoped that Cletus (the hog) would become a Hollywood celebrity. Gen teaches reading to folks who’ve had trouble learning how to read, not realizing that TC falls into that category, too. Tired of not being the person she really always thought she should be, Gen refused to back down and revert to her old ways, further contributing to the ending of her marriage.
This is the 7th book in the Blessings Series by Beverly Jenkins, and should be required reading for everyone, in that you learn (possibly for the first time) that we’re all the same under the skin. We love, we laugh, we cry, we hurt in exactly the same ways – regardless of our outer appearance. We can also forgive, if we want to.
Ms. Jenkins has created a town full of absolutely believable people, from the most humble to the town benefactress. Along the way (in very subtle fashion) they teach life lessons from which we can all benefit. I’m embarrassed to admit that I lost track of this author somewhere along the way. I loved her earlier historical books, but somehow missed the beginning of this series, which is now on the way to being remedied by a visit to my local library. If you’re coming to this series for the first time, you may well end up feeling the same way about the earlier books.
First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.