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Joody

Overview

Joody is a case study in Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder: her drama, your stress. She is not a good mother; it isn't her fault she's allergic to responsibility. Her sister Janet may be a handy helper but that's only because she is dull, drab and predictable. Boring! Joody is ALIVE, emotional, provocative. Naturally men find her irresistible.

Joody's children, three half-siblings, may not be her highest priority (not even second) but she's given ...

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Overview

Joody is a case study in Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder: her drama, your stress. She is not a good mother; it isn't her fault she's allergic to responsibility. Her sister Janet may be a handy helper but that's only because she is dull, drab and predictable. Boring! Joody is ALIVE, emotional, provocative. Naturally men find her irresistible.

Joody's children, three half-siblings, may not be her highest priority (not even second) but she's given them life, hasn't she? Isn't that the ultimate gift? Janet buys them shoes, whoo hoo.

Four points of view on Joody. Her sister, her young teen son, her son's absent-until-lately father plus her own reflection on a free spirit fettered by circumstance (kids). The crisis of Joody's fourth pregnancy pulls our narrators into view to sharpen our appreciation of a family in crisis illustrated by sisters in conflict.

Crisp dialog and witty prose put Joody on the page as well as voice Janet's exasperation with the gaps and lapses in the kids' care. She wants to believe Joody is careless, not dangerous, but at what point would she need to step in and take over? If it's now, she doesn't feel ready.

Aunt Janet has been the kids' ally, provider of comfort, bringer of fun. What she isn't is their mother. The facts of life are clear. Janet is single and childless. Nothing complicates her stepping forward to help, as far as Joody is concerned. Her goody-goody sister has time and money to spare. It isn't the kids' fault their mother is an underpaid hostess at a restaurant (better known for its bar). Lucky for them they have a rich aunt.

Brent is the first man who left Joody pregnant. (OK, she didn't tell him she was pregnant when he broke up with her for cheating) ((which was a one-time mistake, really)). After all these years it isn't that he doesn't like Joody, the problem is he likes her too much. Looking at the boy now, there is no question he's the dad. It may have been stupid to waste years of his own life drinking and drugging, but it was a sin to deprive his child of support. How does he make up for that?

Bryce is the oldest child of a narcissistic mother, alarmed at her casual disregard for his sisters, captive target for her frustration. He's teetering on a high-wire of tension: he can't tell Aunt Jan his mother threatens to kill herself because if he does tell she says she'll take the kids with her. And now, suddenly, he has a dad? Could Brent be even worse than his mother?

This is character-driven story telling, easy to read but hard to forget.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Intertwining stories chronicle the life and misspent times of a negligent mother. Joody--she changed the spelling in school so she'd come before girls with the name's conventional rendering--is a careless narcissist who leaves a path of emotional destruction behind her. Besides ex-boyfriends and her sister, victims include three living children and one dead baby whom she delivers at home, wraps in a blanket and stuffs in a cupboard, heading off to work after placing the placenta in the trash. "What about the baby?" her straight-arrow sister, Janet, asks. "It just kind of slipped out," Joody replies. This tale of a dysfunctional American family comes into focus through the eyes of four narrators, including Joody herself; her sister; Joody's confused, angry son, Bryce; and his concerned but alienated probable-father, Brent. Through each lens, readers view a slightly different aspect of this troubling but seemingly untroubled woman--a "floozy," in her sister's words, since "slut and whore are too harsh." Although the technique of telling a tale from different points of view has worked for masters like Faulkner and Bierce, here it falls short. For one thing, the voices all sound the same, with comma splices being just one mannerism each narrator shares. Nevertheless, the book draws poignant if sketchy pictures of a strained relationship between the night-and-day sisters and a son and father trying to act their roles. Joody's character is believable: Like many crazies, she has a sure instinct for self-preservation, often independent of survival for those around her. "No matter the verb, she was the object," her sister observes. Yet for a potentially heavy subject, the book has a peculiar lightness, and Joody's own take on the situation can be downright funny. Her sister and nerdy boyfriend, for instance, are "dweebs in heat." Despite some entertaining lines, the book never really wades beyond the emotional shallows. To its credit, though, it doesn't moralize about Joody's condition. To its detriment, it doesn't fully explore or explain it. A enjoyable read with little substance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781456336554
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2011
  • Pages: 118
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen K. has created a library of Private Publications available at KathleenKBooks.com. Her eclectic collection features narrative fiction centered on family life in The Lent Hand (Adventures in Beach Town Towing), literate erotica (Dark Prince, Heed Thy Queen) and the counterculture fictional memoir of Stoner with a Boner (It's a Long Story).

Transplanted to the Pacific Northwest from the Great Lakes basin, Kathleen K is a product of the small press/poetry culture with a background in alternative publishing. Her vivid use of language captures characters while life itself provides the twists and turns.

Her non-fiction book Sweet Talkers (Words from the Mouth of a Pay-to-Say Girl) is the true chronicle of a phone-sex business, now considered a cult classic. Intended for adults only, Sweet Talkers is available on-line as an erotic collectible. Third Edition available now.

The rest of her work is make-believe. She makes you believe she's a tow truck driver who falls in love with a shattered family. She makes you believe she's a grocer with an after-hours fondness for pot and sex. She makes you believe she's an accountant hijacked in her car after work and ordered to Drive North.

Kathleen K. drops readers into situations as diverse as the world of Honey B., Sexual Consultant, and of Baby Girl Battersea, fatherless heir to a family fortune in the clutches of her selfish uncle. These books are not linked by theme or genre, this is a rich collection of all-age and adults-only offerings comprising decades of production.

Sharp dialog, elegant prose and a sassy attitude give the audience credit for reading between the lines. Consistently praised for her ability to capture tone and emotion, Kathleen K. is a strong voice in contemporary fiction.

Becoming available for the first time in print and e-book format through CreateSpace.com, these Private Publications are varied in topic but easily identifiable as Words Arranged by Kathleen K.

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