Aug 202014
Review: A Grown-Up Kind of PrettyA Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Narrated by: Joshilyn Jackson
Published by Grand Central Publishing on Jan 25, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Audiobook from Library
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

Is it strange to call a story gorgeous? Maybe so, but I really feel that term fits this book. A Southern contemporary with a hint of mystery, this story is about family, and love, and the things people do for both.

Told in alternating chapters with Big, Liza, and Mosey each having a voice, the story unfolded in a slowly widening narration with past and present events intertwined in a smooth and flowing style. The language of the book greatly contributed to the experience of reading it as it was so smooth and eloquent. Even Liza’s chapters, which were from a stroke victim’s impaired mind were beautifully poetic.

The characters themselves were very inspiring. While it’s not inspiring that both Big and Liza had babies at age fifteen, their actions in the present day when Mosey is fifteen were worthy of the story. Liza’s fight to recover from her stroke was very heartbreaking, and Big’s determination to protect her family was heartwarming.

I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by the author, and was quite impressed. The narration was smooth and emotional, and while the voices used were similar for Liza and Big, it was still easy to tell them apart. Mosey had a very realistic sounding voice, and it was easy to distinguish her chapters.

Overall, I really loved this poetic story about family. While I couldn’t imagine having a baby at age 15 or grandchild at age 30, it was easy to get into the minds of the women in the story and understand their thoughts and actions. This book is one I’d easily recommend, although I will warn you that you’ll likely need some tissues handy.

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