Between, Georgia ***** by Joshilyn Jackson
I’m joining Jain in her bi-monthly edible book review at Food for Thought, where in her words, pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera. Books, Food & Photos, my three favorite things all in one place!
This is my favorite book of Joshilyn Jackson’s. (Her fourth book is due out in June, which I am anxiously awaiting!) In addition to reading it, I have also listened to the audio version. The audio version is EXCELLENT, and read by the author herself. Her characters’ accents as well as antics, are laugh-out-loud funny.
The title of the book refers to the name of the town in Georgia, population 90, where this Southern drama takes place. ‘Between’ also refers to the character, Nonny Frett’s state…she is caught between her biological mother’s family, the Crabtrees, and the family that raised her, the Fretts. This sums up the difference between the families:
The Fretts are ‘meticulous, order incarnate’. If they ever cuss, they use only cuss-words that appear in the Bible. No Frett lips ever touched liquor. The Crabtrees, meanwhile, live in squalor. “They spread like kudzu, generating more chaos and more Crabtrees, generally without the benefit of marriage.”
Stacia Frett, born with Usher Syndrome, which causes deafness and progressive vision loss. A doll-maker-artist and Nonny’s Mother by adoption
Genny Frett, twin to Stacia, highly nervous, but functions as Stacia’s interpreter
Bernese, sister to Stacia & Genny. The town Matriarch who wields her opinions with the subtlety of a club. Typical Bernese remark: ” Well, the Methodists believe something stupid or else they’d be Baptists.”
Fisher, five years old and living with her grandmother, Bernese
Ona Crabtree, Nonny’s birth grandmother, “half crazy, all mean, perpetually drunk, but she had a junkyard dog’s sharp memory for injuries against her person. She hated all things Frett.”
Jonno, Nonny’s philandering soon to be ex-husband
Henry Crabtree, Nonny’s friend, and very Un-Crabtree-like
This cast of characters is a combustible combination.
Bernese runs a Doll House and Butterfly Museum…
“It seems obvious to her, like basic math. She enjoys raising moths and butterflies, she’s built her life on doll houses, so obviously she ought to be able to put them together somehow.”
Some of the funniest moments are Bernese’s struggles with Fisher, especially hilarious when read with the authors’ accents in the audio version. Her misplaced aggressive behavior and feelings for her daughter, has her restricting five-year old granddaughter, Fisher’s diet. Poor Fisher’s food is weighed and measured; to be eaten in specific combinations… a boiled egg with carrot sticks, egg salad with green beans.
With these as the only food vignettes mentioned, Bernese ‘forced me’ to prepare a Fisher-Friendly-Food. Below is a Southern favorite, Deviled Eggs, but jazzed up with some Bacon and Chives. I’m sure Bernese would SERIOUSLY frown on the bacon!
Bacon-Chive Deviled Eggs
If you like a Southern Drama, rife with conflict and humor, you’re in for a treat!
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