A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

April 12, 2012 Book Review, reviews 13

A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn JacksonA Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Published by Grand Central Publishing on January 25, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Southern
Pages: 322
Format: Audiobook
Source: purchased
Goodreads

Joshilyn Jackson hit the ball out of the freakin park with A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty!  Told in alternating voices of Big (Genny Slocum); her daughter, (Little) Liza Slocum; and the granddaughter, Mosey Willow Jane Grace Slocum.  If you have ever lived in the South, or know a true Southerner, then you will have heard many a time the southerner calling a loved-one’s full given name, especially if that loved one is in a heap of trouble!  I was laughing so hard and in a flash crying as well, at the descriptive antics of all involved, and knowing full well that in a small southern town, finding tiny bones in your backyard can never be a discreet, quiet event.

Big has decided to put in a pool to help her daughter, Liza, with the rehabilitation from a stroke four months prior.  In order to put the pool in, Liza’s beloved willow tree must go.  Mosey knows that no matter how gone her mother’s brain may be, removing the willow tree may very well destroy Liza…so on the day the tree is set to be cut down, Mosey hides with her best friend Roger (Raymond) in the backyard tree house.  From the moment the tree is cut down and the stump yanked out, life becomes a plethora of secrets revealed and kept and lives forever changed.

I listened to the audio version narrated by Ms. Jackson, herself, and her background in theater was incredibly apparent.  From Mosey’s higher-pitched teenage voice to Liza’s guttural noises as a result of the stroke and finally to Big’s no-nonsense, go-getter tones, the individuality of each character shone through…..Not to mention all of the side characters who each had their own voice!  That Ms. Jackson narrated A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty made the book that much more divine – she knew where the inflections should be, the pauses, how the vowel-like noises from Liza should actually sound and oh my, how she made these characters come alive ~ both through her writing and with her narration.

Ms. Jackson has a talent for exposing the underbelly of the fringes of society, then carefully stitching the pieces all back together with such a fine, yet strong, thread that you know if these characters can survive this (whatever this may happen to be) then they can survive anything.

For lovers of great southern literature, mother’s and daughters, family devotion and anyone who enjoys a romping good (read) audio!

In a Word: Delicious!

13 Responses to “A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson”

  1. Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com

    Awesome review. I love that you highlighted her background in theatre. She does do awesome voices doesn't she?

    My favorite part of your review, "Ms. Jackson has a talent for exposing the underbelly of the fringes of society, then carefully stitching the pieces all back together with such a fine, yet strong, thread that you know if these characters can survive this (whatever this may happen to be) then they can survive anything." Brilliant darling! So well said! BRAVO!

    And I love your "in a word".

    🙂

  2. bermudaonion

    This was my favorite of all of Jackson's books – I adored it! I need to try one of her books on audio.

  3. Stacy at A Novel Source

    That was the one thing I forgot to put in my review ~ I've read all of her books, this one was my first on audio and definitely my absolute favorite!

  4. Stacy at A Novel Source

    awww, sweet Juju, thank you so ever much! and I did feel like Ms. Jackson portrayed the resiliency of man(woman)-kind with aplomb and grace!

  5. Nise'

    I loved this book too. Her next book(if she is the narrator) I will listen to as I've read she does such a great job!

  6. (Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea

    I haven't been disappointed with this author yet – hope to read this one soon. Glad u liked it.

  7. Zibilee

    Wonderful and beautiful review! I loved this book as well, and listened on audio. Jackson's voice was incredibly wonderful with all of her narration, and when we had the chance to see her at the book festival, she read aloud from the book as well. It was like hearing the audio all over again! Loved this review, and this book!

  8. Sheila (Bookjourney)

    I think this one looks fun – I have seen a few posts on it now.

  9. Jenners

    I think she is so well suited to narrating her own books. I plan on getting to this sooner or later.

  10. stacybuckeye

    This is the second review I've read about how awesome the audio is. It might be the perfect way for me to finally be introduced to Jackson.

  11. Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick

    I've heard so much about this. Kathy let me know that she was going to be in my area at our local indie bookstore, but I couldn't get out there. I'm still kicking myself for not rearranging that night!

    I've heard the audio is magnificent, so I've got it on my Audible.com wish list.

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