NAL, Mar 2008, $22.95
In 1970 Mayville, Georgia, eighteen years old Jessie Bell Holt learned from her mom that sexual enticements work. However, if her daddy ever learned how she flaunts her assets, he would condemn her as having a Jezebel spirit. Somehow whether her father Reverend Holt chooses to ignore or remain ignorant, townsfolk know of Jessie Bell’s reputation including an abortion and a miscarriage.
Holt hosts Preacher Traynor Deveraux Jr. who is in town to provide a tent revival sermon since his dad is too ill to perform. Jessie Bell recognizes Traynor as her ticket out of town; encouraged by her mom, she hooks the young preacher whose sermon feels God-inspired. Traynor and Jessie Bell marry. Over the years through her sexual and extortionist machinations, he becomes an international star while they raise their son. However, one day her reckoning will come, but Jessie Bell never expected the price she must pay for her transgressions; yet still has one chance at redemption.
Bringing the biblical tale of Jezebel into a modern text, Jacquelin Thomas provides a deep look at temptation in various forms. Jessie Bell is terrific as the lead protagonist as she learned very early how to sue her beauty to manipulate men; in fact only her son who loves her deeply seems immune to her charms. Fans of inspirational Christian fiction will relish this powerful look at the Jezebel Spirit alive and well in contemporary America.