Monday, 16 December 2013

Book Review of The Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty



Synopsis:

A mouthy small town girl takes on big city life assisted by her "Spiritual guide through sin city" who pulls a Professor Higgins on Cherie while offering advice on single parenting and multiple affairs the heart...

Back in the Sixties while Motown hits filled the airwaves, na├»ve Jill Novak acknowledged her knack for choosing losers when boring Husband Number One vanished, leaving her to support their two-year-old. The perpetual daydreamer soon morphs from small town Jill to sophisticated big city Cherie, but a new name does not a better future bring. In 1969 Houston, Cherie encounters a rogue’s gallery of characters unlike those from her small Texas hometown; a drop-dead gorgeous transsexual, a snarling wannabe Mafia hit-man, a hairy cop who incorporates fondling girls into his job, and a ditzo neighbor whose desire for friendship borders on stalking. But it is two distinctly different men—a middle-age gregarious gambler and a twenty-something gruff intellectual—who jump on board her turbulent thirty-year roller coaster ride and journey with her into the 21st Century and womanhood. A tough and tender Texas-sized romance with a mild metaphysical slant, The Jewel Box highlights moments from the mystical, laid-back Age of Aquarius through the materialistic, high-speed Internet era. Music and references to the times/political climate convey the nations rocky terrain (and subsequent growth) parallel with that of the main character. This is a story of an engaging and open-hearted woman with no plan, making her way through life by fits and starts, and ultimately succeeding by turning out to be stronger than she thought.


Review:


The Jewel BoxThe Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book, so I thought I would give it a try.

Jill Novak is a divorced woman and a single mother of one child. She is a woman trying to make a living to keep herself and her child off the streets. She moves to the city of Houston and changes her name to Cherie. The rest, they say, is history! I really liked this character and enjoyed watching her grow throughout the book.

I must admit that I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I began reading this book. I was expecting a romance, but what I got instead was a whole lot more! I don't know if this is a fictional story, or whether these events really did take place, but this book reads like a memoir. There are some memorable characters that shape Cherie's life. I really liked Beau Duvale (the owner of The Jewel Box - the topless bar she worked in - and Cherie's mentor and friend). He is a charming man with a knack of hiding Jack of Clubs cards in strange places!
Gabriel O'Quinn is a taciturn, intense and charming man, but he is not perfect. I liked this character, but I wanted to give him a swift kick every so often - He can be a little blind to what's going on around him!
This is a story that covers over 20 years of Cherie's life, so there is a lot of history from 1969 to 2003 (political events, music and people) that peppers the book and shows the changing landscape of the years. I did find it interesting, but there was so much to digest, I felt my head would explode! However, this gives the story a "real" feel that made the book come to life.

C. Michelle McCarty is a debut author with a talent for writing a captivating story that I struggled to put down! Although some of the book felt a bit long in places, it felt like I was journeying through time! I look forward to following her career with interest.

I recommend this book if you love contemporary fiction or memoirs. - Lynn Worton

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2 comments:

  1. Hi. I liked your review.
    I was posting my own review today when I came across yours.
    I mention your review as another one to read

    Thanks
    http://tammommyblogs.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-jewel-box-by-c-michelle-mccarty.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am glad you liked my review and I am touched that you also mentioned my review in yours. I will share your review on my FB page for my followers to read. :)

      Kind regards,

      Lynn

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