Pros: Great characters
Rating: 4 out of 5
The early part of Jack Jordan’s My Girl is every bit as depressing as his novel Anything For Her. Paige Dawson is hitting rock bottom. Her husband killed himself. Her daughter was kidnapped and the only thing found of her was part of her arm. Paige is trading sexual favors to a doctor for drugs, and even he is cutting her off. Her family and even her in-laws keep trying to get her help, but she just pushes them away all the harder. Finally, after hitting bottom seemingly multiple times, she lets her brother Maxim, a vicar, take her in.
I prefer for my reading to be dark-not-depressing. The problem being, of course, that the distinction can be hard to draw, and would probably fall in a different place for each reader. The beginning of this book was very depressing, seeing everything that Paige does and doesn’t do and how she treats the people who try to help her. On the realism side, it’s a good thing that the book didn’t try to make her drug habit quick and easy to solve. It’s appropriate that we had a naked look at how awful life can get, but it did make the book harder to read at first. I thought that the characters were appropriately complex; the doctor Paige is getting drugs from, for example, had more personality than I expect from a character such as that.
It’s hard to explain my feelings on this book without giving too much away. Pretty much everything that happens once she starts to pick up a bit would be a spoiler. I can say that I was riveted, shocked, and glued to the pages. The revelations come quickly as the pacing picks up. There’s a lot of life to the characters and plot. If you can get through the depressing opening, this turns into a real thriller. It isn’t a light-hearted one either–there’s plenty of darkness here, so be ready for that.
Since I can’t really say more than that, I’ll just say that this makes me want to read more of Jordan’s work.
NOTE: Book provided free by publisher for review
Expected publication date: July 4, 2016