Last Dance at the Jitterbug Lounge
This multigenerational excellent read covers Western life from the deep Great Depression until current times. The Crabtree family patriarch is dying. His namesake grandson Jack Crabtree barely manages time off to visit.
Jack and his wife Claire drive up from Texas to the Catawah, OK home place. They married very young and have done well but grown apart. Jack’s focus has been business and acquiring to be wealthy of his college educated and professional mother and step family.
Claire worries about his attractive and controlling female business associate who spends more time with Jack than she does. It is Jack’s perfect mother who insists Claire go with Jack to Catawah.
The book covers the marriages of three generations helping the couple rekindle their own love. A worthy read for the memorably drawn characters. More importantly is how the Jitterbug Lounge figures into the family’s history.
A 1994 Silhoutte Desire, first in the Children of Hawk’s Way moving from the Hawk’s Way series.
Johnston’s first novel incorporating acute lymphocytic leukemia and by now the treatment is probably dated. Johnston takes on the high cost of medical care in America which is even more relevant today.
As a romance writer she uses Falcon Whitelaw’s ‘guilt’ for killing Mara’s husband a year before to seek an unsecured loan to save her sick young daughter without having to travel from the stability of her first real home. Treatment would be available at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN if she were willing to travel from Texas to Tennessee.
A freewheeling inheritor, Falcon has squandered away most of his inheritance in five years. The only help he can offer the angry and somewhat bitter woman is health insurance her daughter would be entitled to use if the couple marry.
It is a sparse well-written story of second chances.
Johnston is deep into a multigenerational saga on which she has built a loyal following. She uses leukemia, again. This time a couple’s child needs a bone marrow transplant.
As Shattered is a longer book covering stories, let me say it builds on long-term love; crossover love; the things we do for love; just how stupid can a character be; and yes, you can get pregnant with unprotected sex more than once.
It is a fast moving book. Once again, only with a few changes we learn a young person had a fortune which was depleted in five years. This time a female married into a prominent family. The mother-in-law is the Texas Governor who wants to win the White House. It is her son who burned through the wife’s money. Saying more would give away too much.
My second objection to this book is that one man is planning to marry a woman only a couple years older than his child. Maybe no other reader will notice.
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Reviewed by Robyn Daniels