Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jo Joe by Sally Wiener Grotta

Title:  Jo Joe
Author:  Sally Wiener Grotta
Series: A Black Bear Pensylvania novel
Published:  May 6th 2013 by Pixel Hall Press
Page Count:  314
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jo Joe is a mystery of the heart about Judith Ormond, a young mixed race Jewish woman. Seventeen years earlier, violence and hatred had driven her away from the small Pocono Mountains village where she was raised by her white Christian grandparents. Now,with the death of her beloved grandmother, she must reluctantly break her vow to never return to the town she learned to hate. During the one week visit, she’s forced to deal with the white boy who cruelly broke her heart and is menaced by an old enemy who threatens new brutalities. But with her traumatic discovery of a long-buried secret, Judith finds more questions than answers about the bigotry that scarred her childhood.

About Black Bear, Pennsylvania

Jo Joe is set in the fictional Pocono Mountains village of Black Bear, Pennsylvania. Black Bear was created as a literary folie à deux by Sally Wiener Grotta and her husband Daniel Grotta. Both Sally and Daniel are dipping into the same pool of invented locale and characters to write a series of separate stories and novels that will, eventually, paint a full picture of the diversity of life and relationships in a small mountain village. The first Black Bear story was "Honor," a novella by Daniel Grotta.

My Review:

Grotta tackles some very tough subjects in a realistic and heartrending manner. She evokes multiple emotions throughout this novel. She has the ability to make you laugh and to make you cry with her amazing abilities as a storyteller. As a reader you are drawn into this fantastic world.

The main character in this novel is extremely well put together. Grotta takes the time to introduce you to every part of her character. I love how you really get into the main character`s head. You are able to experience life from her point of view. The supporting cast is also very well put together. Each is individually developed to suit their role in the novel. Grotta makes sure that you get to know everyone that you meet in the story, even if they aren`t still with us. It leads to a very realistic and all-encompassing feel throughout the story.

Overall this is a very insightful and emotional novel. With this well written novel Grotta takes you on a lifelong journey that you won`t soon forget.

Add to your Goodreads shelves.
Buy online via Amazon, B&N, or Kobo.

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