Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Jiminy-Kristin Gore

Sweet Jiminy
Kristin Gore
Hyperion, Apr 26 2011, $23.99
ISBN: 9781401322892

In Chicago, Jiminy Davis attends law school. In the summer she is putting in incredible hours as a legal intern. When a bike rider runs her over she decides it is time to leave. Based on his t-shirt, she chooses her grandma in Fayeville, Mississippi. African-American septuagenarian Lyn Water considers killing herself when her white employer seventy-one year old Willa Hunt asks her to come over to clean the house and get it ready for her granddaughter Jiminy.

Lyn’s great nephew Bo is in town to save money while studying for the MCAT. Meanwhile Jiminy finds her grandpa Henry’s diary; he died from an embolism when he was thirty-two. She reads a little only to learn a Jiminy and her father Edward were murdered in 1966, one year before Henry died. Jiminy and Bo meet and she asks him if Lyn ever married; he says yes but her husband and daughter died. They spend a lot time together, which helps her regain her confidence. Attracted to each other, Bo breaks it off with Jiminy out of fear for each of them and their families. Meanwhile she begins to investigate what happened in 1966 before asking Carlo Castaverde, a reporter at the Texarkana Greenhaven Gazette, who has solved seven of these Civil Rights Era abominations, for help.

The support cast (during the Civil Rights era and present) is solid bringing alive a small southern town struggling with its heritage. However, Jiminy is an interesting individual who forces everyone to look at what happened in 1966 that people want to ignore, she holds the story line together with her never forget attitude. Although the villains come across as weak, readers will enjoy this engaging regional tale as a deadly incident five decades ago that few want to talk about still causes a racial divide.

Harriet Klausner

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