Just Between You And Me
Jenny B. Jones
Thomas Nelson, Sep 2009, $14.99
Maggie does not have the T-shirt, but she survived the death of her mom when she was a child and the martinet demands of her dad. Instead Maggie lives for her work as a globetrotting cinematographer unlike her drug abusing sister Allison.
Her dad begs her to come home to help him with his eight year old troubled granddaughter Riley as Allison dumped her before running away. Reluctantly, Maggie agrees though she knows any family involvement means trouble and heartache. Back home, all that she fled from hammers at Maggie’s soul especially when she looks into the messed up eyes of Riley. On the positive side there is Connor the veterinarian.
The key to this strong look at a family in crisis is each of the four prime players seems real with their dependence on varying defense mechanisms in order to survive relational demands. Maggie puts up a bold front to hide her distrust of relationships as Connor knows first hand; Allison hides behind drug abuse; Riley pretends she does not care; and dad feels overwhelmed so he keeps his emotional distance to hide his fear of failure. Though the ending is too pat and obvious, using pathos, wit, and humor, Jenny B. Jones provides her audience with a profound family character study of a Jack and his three descendent Jills struggling like the Cowardly Lion to find courage and have cake too .