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Pam of Babylon
     

Pam of Babylon

3.9 17
by Suzanne Jenkins
 

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For Long Islander Pam Smith, happily preparing for the return of her husband every Friday night is a way of life, until she receives a dreaded telephone call that will change everything, forever.

Three very different women-a wife and two mistresses-gather at the deathbed of Jack Smith, the man that connects them all. As they grapple with their loss, they come to

Overview

For Long Islander Pam Smith, happily preparing for the return of her husband every Friday night is a way of life, until she receives a dreaded telephone call that will change everything, forever.

Three very different women-a wife and two mistresses-gather at the deathbed of Jack Smith, the man that connects them all. As they grapple with their loss, they come to know one another, realizing that the man they all loved was not what he seemed to be. Can they discover the whole truth about Jack and make peace with it, or is their trust in him already too deeply shattered? Pam of Babylon is a compelling read, which engages the senses and provokes response.

Wonderfully written and beautifully told, this is a knockout novel about love, forgiveness, and the mysteries of the human heart. Pam of Babylon is the first of eleven novels in the series.

Come along for the ride of your life as you ask yourself this one question. How well do I know my husband?

"An intriguing first novel that revolves around a husband's death and hidden secrets...consistently interesting, this psychological novel contains some mystery and moves along quickly for a non-thriller." Of the second book in the series, Don't You Forget About Me, Kirkus Review says, "An exciting, surprising story that leaves the reader hungry for the next book." And of Dream Lover, the third in the series, "A gritty, realistic portrait of the aftermath of deceit."Kirkus Review

"Excellent!" Dan Georgakas, editor Cineaste Magazine.

Suzanne Jenkins lives near the west Michigan lakeshore. The author of twenty-seven novels and counting, Pam of Babylon was her first.

To learn more about Suzanne Jenkins, go to www.suzannejenkins.net.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

An intriguing first novel that revolves around a husband's death and hidden secrets.

Pam Smith lives an apparently charmed life as a well-to-do Babylon, N.Y., homemaker in a large house by the water. In her 50s with her children grown, Pam is happy with her exemplary husband Jack. After he has a heart attack on the subway, however, the protagonist finds out more than she ever wanted to know about Jack. She uncovers a weapon in his desk, his extramarital affair, his mistress' potential pregnancy and his possible abuse of her younger sister Marie, who comes to visit every weekend. Bordering on preposterous but consistently interesting, this psychological novel contains some mystery and moves along quickly for a non-thriller. While Pam is the novel's protagonist, Jack's mistress Sandra and Marie also play key roles. The three women all feel betrayed by Jack, and the plot focuses on their reactions to his deception. Pam, though, feels drawn to Sandra in empathy while Marie is angry and jealous. The women develop an odd bond, and Pam even invites the other two women for a weekend to relax at the beach house in Babylon—a hostess gesture that seems a bit extreme. The novel also focuses on Jack and Pam's mothers, the latter of whom is having a hard time living alone in Brooklyn—Pam, of course, brings her to Babylon, too. Jenkins is skilled in her presentation of the characters' inner thoughts, particularly at Jack's funeral, where Pam's emotions are decidedly mixed as various facts about her late spouse come to light. While the novel is convincing during moments between the main female characters, the plotline strains from narrative overload as extortion and issues of parentage come into play. Themes of sisterhood and abuse run through the book, and the three women shift between rivalry and friendship before becoming empowered by Jack's demise.

Women's fiction with a touch of noir.

Kirkus Review
An intriguing novel that revolves around a husband's death and hidden secrets..
consistently interesting.. psychological novel contains mystery...Jenkins is skilled in her presentation of the characters' inner thoughts ...convincing during moments between the female characters...Themes of sisterhood and abuse ...with a touch of noir. Kirkus

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461135920
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
06/14/2011
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Jenkins is the author of the Pam of Babylon series, The Greektown Stories. Alice's Summertime Adventure, The Savant of Chelsea Atlas of Women and many more. Her short story Vapor appeared in Willow Review, Spring 2013. A retired operating room nurse, she lives in the woods at the west Michigan lakeshore after residing in New Jersey for thirty years.

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Pam of Babylon 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
AvidReader2015 More than 1 year ago
When a book starts from a seemingly perfect place for the character, you know he is not going to stay there long… So when Jack Smith is looking at the face of Sandra, his mistress, thinking “I am the luckiest man alive,” his luck is at its end. Not only would Marie, his wife’s sister, find out about his affair, but he would to live long enough to try to handle the scandal with Pam, his meek, trusting wife. While he is cheating on her, Pam waits excitedly for his return. “She had the week to prepare for his homecoming… she tried to make it an oasis for him.” Despite her trust in Jack, she knows intuitively that things between them are not quite right. “There was a tiny, itsy bit of doubt, a niggling worry, an insecurity in the back of her mind. He was disconnected from her.” When she gets a call from the hospital that Jack has died from a heart attack, Pam goes to pieces and then, gradually, reassembles them, finding a new strength in herself. She now learns the truth about him and a few of the women with whom he betrayed her. Sandra, too, goes through grief: “Her life had changed overnight.” This book is about looking forward to restart life already, even in the presence of death. It is about healing, part of which comes from forgiveness. I know this sounds strange to some readers, who find Pam’s behavior ’too unreal.” Apparently it is easier and perhaps more natural for many of us to succumb to vengefulness. At the same time, this is exactly why this book is so fascinating. It offers a different possibility, a more hopeful one. “There was something about cleaning up, washing everything, that spoke of new beginnings.” The author, Suzanne Jenkins, stated that she wrote the character as the opposite of herself. “I am at the opposite end of the spectrum of reactions....I wouldn't be forgiving and embracing.” Yet I feel that by the end of the story Pam inhabits her to such a degree that  her words come straight from the heart, gut, and mind. Five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this novel. ShelleyMA
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite In an extremely promising start to a series, Pam of Babylon, by author Suzanne Jenkins, the reader is introduced to quite an interesting scenario. When Pam's husband Jack dies suddenly from a massive heart attack, the secrets he's been keeping come to the surface. Finding that the husband she loved had not one, but two mistresses, comes as quite a shock and quite a blow. But in a story of healing, forgiveness and ultimately redemption, Pam comes to grip with the husband she thought she knew, the love she thought she had, and the reality of what had been kept hidden from her for so long. I so enjoyed this book. Author Suzanne Jenkins has done a fantastic job at creating characters that the reader will truly relate to and care about. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. The storyline is easy to follow and well-paced. Pam of Babylon will keep you turning the pages from start to finish. In fact, the best piece of advice I have for any reader is to have enough time aside to read this entire book at once, because once you start it, you will not want to put it down. Any reader who enjoys chick lit, women's fiction, or just an enjoyable read will love this book. I recommend Pam of Babylon, and am very much looking forward to reading the next installment in author Suzanne Jenkins' series as soon as possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would make a great movie! Pam, the betrayed wife, reacts very differently than most wives would to her husband's betrayal. That does not make this an unbelievablw story as some reviewers have stated. She reacts the way she does (with kindness and compassion) because she has always felt the emotional abuses of her husband. He trained her to be submissive to his needs and made her feel she always had to be perfect. That makes her feel compassion for the other women in her husband's life. It takes a strong woman to forgive. All of the women were victims of Jack, her husband. Too many wives only want to blame the other women and not the men. I seldom find a book that makes me think about the story and feel so badly for the characters. It is just a story, but I stopped reading it 4-5 times so I could get away from the sadness. Then I kept wondering if I could have been as kind and compassionate as Pam. This was an emotional story that kept me interested enough that I continued to think about it after finishing book 1.
DonnaWDW More than 1 year ago
This book revolves around three women who were greatly affected by one man's death. It is a good, interesting read how you can be married or related to a man for many years and not truly know him. Pam, who is the main character, has to deal with not only the death of her husband, but also with other family members and a mistress. There are many twists and turns uncovered and overall a good book to read on a rainy day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this down. This family is so full of dark secrets yet most of the characters rise above them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plot, but somehow...not quite believable overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary true! So many marriages endure years of betrayal but on the outside everything appears to be wonderful. Can't wait to read book two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved the story but can't get the next book for my nook very dissapointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read every page, forced myself actually by thots that my dislike could be denial by being an upper midclass 50 yr old wife but no this is a book that had perception + class as possibilities but failed
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Wow talk about worlds getting turned upside down, this book has it! Guess we should remember that things are not always as they appear. Pam Smith has what looks like is a perfect life, she lives in Long Island, NY and on the ocean...in a beautiful cottage. Her children are grown and away at college, when she receives the news. Her husband has had a heart attack...and has died. I don't believe I would have reacted to the facts that come out as well as Pam does. She is one strong person. While things are being revealed you wonder who or whom she should trust? Then there's Jack...the father of her two children, and you want to hate him. We learn a lot about these people and the people who raised them, are we repeating another generation. Suzanne Jenkins has written a page turner, and I can't wait to get into the next book. Don't miss this compelling read! I received this book from Pump Your Book Virtual Tours and the Author Suzanne Jenkins, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JAB4422 More than 1 year ago
I didn't enjoy this book about a man having a heart attack and his wife and mistress being informed, both going to the hospital to see him. The man dies and the wife finds out about the mistress. She is OK with the mistress and wants to be friends! The wife, Pam, is completely insane! Then we find out that Pam's sister, Marie, was also in love with the dead guy. Unfortunately, this book was boring and the characters were ridiculous. Nobody would act the way Pam did when she learned about all her husband's issues! I know I should have stopped reading it at some point but I just can't seem to leave a task unfinished so I read the whole book.