Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Somebody Pick Up My Pieces -J.D. Mason

Somebody Pick Up My Pieces
J.D. Mason
St. Martin's, Feb 1 2011, $24.99
ISBN 9780312368876

Almost three decades ago the worst day in her life occurred. Her Uncle Lamont Williams killed Charlotte Rodgers’s lover and beat her to a pulp. She survived the brutal hammering while he went to prison.

Now twenty-seven years since that horrific day, Lamont has been released from jail and wants to rejoin his family. His niece, now the family matriarch, wants nothing to do with the relative who also paid off a debt with Charlotte as the remittance.

Her three adult children have left Charlotte isolated in Murphy, Kansas as they are frustrated with their acrimonious mother who abandoned them as children years ago and now struggle with their own problems. Her daughter Cammy lost her child in a car accident. She cannot move passed her grief so she leaves her husband. She moves to Denver where her two older sisters, Connie and Clarice “Reesy”, reside. Connie loves her newborn. She and the baby’s father John seem ideal for one another until he learns his father is dying. The third sister Clarice remains angry at her spouse Justin for cheating on her.

The latest Rodgers women saga once again makes the same case that the child is the adult. The four females have new tsuris to compound their psychological defense mechanisms caused by more traumas than Job faced. The impetus this time that exponentially spirals the unhappiness of the foursome is the return of odious Lamont who demands retribution from his niece who he blames for his imprisonment. Although somewhat feeling repetitive to the previous tales (see One Day I Saw a Black King and You Gotta Sin to Get Saved) in spite of the latest tragedies, ironically there is a sense that finally somebody is picking up the pieces of her soul.

Harriet Klausner

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