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Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

Between, Georgia

by Joshilyn Jackson (Author), Joshilyn Jackson (Reader)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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896459,849 (3.79)52

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Between, Georgia tells the story of Nonny, from her birth in Bernice Frett's entryway, through her quiet upbringing by two spinster sisters, one deaf and the other subject to crippling bouts of anxiety, and her attempts to divorce her feckless husband, who is still trying to get his band some traction. Nonny is also the center of unrest in her small town. Born to a frightened, teenage member of the shiftless and criminal Crabtree family, but raised by the prominent Baptist Frett family, Nonny's existence heightens the tension between them.

Joshilyn Jackson's books are marketed as pleasant women's fiction, but to consider them as such is to ignore her biting wit and deep understanding of what it means to be a Southerner. These are strong women, molded into steel, but with that thin coating of perfect manners to hide the sting of their words. There are people getting by on cheap booze and disability checks who have as much kindness in them as the woman who is raising her granddaughter to be quietly terrified that her friend who goes to the Methodist church is going to hell. All that in a charmingly-told story of eccentric people in a small town. Jackson writes with both love and a clear eye. ( )
2 vote RidgewayGirl | Jun 24, 2014 |
This book definitely has some odd twists and turns. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight and figuring out how they related to each other. The plot except for a few parts was somewhat predictable. Being a Southerner from a small town, I could identify with some of the characters. Had it not been for that, my rating would be much lower. It is basically the story of a young woman caught up between two families. It was sometimes hard to remember who was on which side. ( )
  nmaners | May 13, 2014 |
I loved the way the family worked together on their lives, both as work and child rearing. It is a good story about how hard it is to separate yourself form your family and create your own identity. I do wish Henry were real. I know the author and was prepared to just be kind about it, but it was quite a page turner, from which I had a hard time tearing myself away. The novel concerns families and the issues they face, with a splash of varying personalities thrown in for spice. Nonny is the adopted daughter of a deaf and blind artist who lives with her twin and next door to her older sister in a small town in Georgia. Their well ordered life faces constant disruption as members of the family show up. Bernice (pronounced BER-neez) is the matriarch of the family and powerful in the town as well. She wields her power in a kind way until one event makes her mean and short tempered. Nonny is trying to do right by everyone and in the process makes no one happy. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
Deeply engrossing tale of adopted daughter, Nonny Frett, and her complicated family, including her deaf-blind adoptive mother, her anxiety-ridden adoptive aunt, and her desperate biological aunt who has resented the loss of her grandchild since the day she was born. Characters are believable, deeply affecting, and I found myself sitting in the car, not wanting to turn off the audio book. Wonderfully read by the author.
  mochap | Jun 20, 2013 |
Nonny Frett is caught between. She was born into the Crabtree family and secretly adopted into the Frett family, two groups that have been fighting since time immemorial. She wants to divorce her husband but she's caught between lust and lassitude. She's frequently caught between what she wants to do and what she feels like she has to do. How appropriate is it that she lives in a town called Between, Georgia?

I enjoyed this. Parts had me laughing out loud, I was worried sick in other places, and I was ready to slap some characters around in still others. It felt like a real slice of someone else’s life. The whole Hatfield and McCoy thing was a little over the top, but it made for a good story, and gave Nonny a good backdrop against which to grow into herself.

Nonny is thirty years old, but she hasn’t really found herself yet. She’s constantly dissecting herself and her behavior, looking to see if she’s more Crabtree or Frett in the whole “nature vs nurture” dichotomy. She tends to float along in life, either choosing not to make decisions, or content to let others make them for her. In all honesty, I related a little too much to her, so I liked watching her become who she was always meant to be.

I loved Nonny’s mother. She was born deaf and has lost her sight by the time the book takes place. There's no word of complaint from her though. She's actually the rock of the family. She's an artist, she's wise, and she takes care of business. Her sister Bernese would argue, but Stacia is the one they rely on to keep them anchored.

Nonny’s family is practically all women. She has an aunt Bernese that is a holy terror. She’s supposed to be going through a “bad patch” in the book, but since that’s all I saw of her, I didn’t like her at all. Nonny’s birth grandmother, Ona, is possibly even worse. She’s mean, she’s drunk, she’s manipulative, and she’s lonely. It’s a bit of a lethal combination. But even these two manage to grow, and I found myself seeing through their eyes a little by the time everything was over.

This would be a good book club book. There are lots of things to discuss here, the various ways that females relate to each other and hurt and heal each other being chief among them. Life in a small town and that whole “nature vs. nurture” thing would invariably come up as well. Any red-blooded women are probably going to talk about the men in the book too. Oh my! I’m a sucker for a fictional man with long hair, especially if I get to “watch” him let it down, literally and figuratively. Is it a little steamy in here? ;-)

After all the good stuff I just said, I can only bring myself to give this three and a half stars. There’s no real reason except that I enjoyed it while it lasted, but I don't think I'll remember it very long. I do recommend it if you're looking for a family drama with touches of humor. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jackson, JoshilynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, JoshilynReadermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hjertonsson, Karolinasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bob before me and Sam after
First words
The war began thirty years, nine months, and seven days ago, when I was deaf and blind, floating silent and serene inside Hazel Crabtree.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446699454, Paperback)

Nonny Frett understands the meaning of the phrase "in
between a rock and a hard place" better than any woman
alive. She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the
other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two
men: a husband who's easing out the back door; and a
best friend, who's laying siege to her heart in her front
yard. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her
and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who won't forget
how they were done wrong. Now, in Between,
Georgia, a feud that began the night Nonny was born
is escalating and threatening to expose family secrets.
Ironically, it might be just what the town needs...if only
Nonny weren't stuck in between.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Nonny Frett understands the meaning of "between a rock and a hard place." She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two men: her husband, easing out the back door; and her best friend, laying siege to her heart in her front yard. She has a job that holds her in the city, and she's addicted to a little girl stuck deep in the country. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who lost her and won't forget how they were done wrong. In Between, Georgia, population 90, a feud that began the night Nonny was born is escalating, and a random act of violence is about to ignite a stash of family secrets. This might be just what the town needs, if only Nonny wasn't sitting in the middle of it.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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