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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
Joshilyn Jackson
Read by Joshilyn Jackson

Hachette Audio
January 25, 2012 / ISBN: 978-1611139921
Southern Fiction / Humorous / Contemporary / Family/ Relationships / Audiobook (Unabridged) / CDs

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is about a family of three women: a 45 year old grandmother, her 30 year old daughter, and her 15 year old granddaughter. Jenny (Big) had her daughter Liza (Little) at age 15. Liza had her daughter Mosey at age 15, too. Jenny refers to herself as ignorant in getting pregnant whereas Liza had a way with men from a young age. Jenny and Liza have been prepping for Mosey's 15th birthday. Jenny considers every 15th year in her life as the coming of an Egyptian plague. She's sure something is about to happen, and it does. Will they survive it or not…

Jenny tells readers/listeners how Liza buried her heart under the Willow tree out back. Liza has had a stroke. She is unable to speak or walk. Jenny is determined to continue Liza's water therapy. When the Willow tree is sacrificed for a swimming pool, family secrets are unearthed, exposed for all to see and judge. Liza's reaction to the tree renders her manic in behavior. Jenny blames herself. Readers/Listeners will discover this family's secrets spread as a far and wide as the roots of their Willow tree.

Jackson brings readers another southern literary tale full of life's lessons, humor and tears. Jackson's characters are uniquely real: Jenny drives safely 4 miles over the speed limit, shops at Wal-mart, holds a job, watches CSI as well as other detective shows, cares for her family, and doesn't judge others (even though members of the various Southern Baptist churches have judged and alienated her for years). Wild Liza is a mix of Jenny, and unfortunately, other people she met while growing up. Her story is a rough lesson for us all. Mosey is also a mix of everyone she's come in contact with in the last fifteen years. Luckily she spent more time with Jenny than anyone… But will it be enough to save her? In A Grown-up-Kind of Pretty Jackson has each woman narrating her own story, so pay close attention when listening to the audio version.

I discovered Joshilyn Jackson through Gods in Alabama. I knew then she would become a notable author. In the audio version the author narrates her story with familiarity and southern flair. It's an experience I must to pass on to others…

Reviews of her other novels

Gods in Alabama [book review] [audio]
Between, Georgia [book] [audio]
BackSeat Saints [book] [audio]
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming [book ] [audio]

Reviewed 2012