Reasonable Joy begins with Rainey reflecting on her life while walking along the beach behind her family's vacation home. The time is 1960. She ponders her losses, and looks back on her life. Her thoughts drift back to her origin as a "foundling." After Rainey's father finds her bundled on his front step the morning after her birth, she begins an idyllic childhood as the only child of Rufus Clark and his patient wife. Rainey's first idyll ends with her parents' deaths by her 22nd year. Rainey moves to an exciting and unpredictable life in Washington, DC, where she meets William "Step" Herndon, a dancer who leads more than one secret life. Step and Rainey "marry" on New Year's Eve 1923. Soon Rainey finds that she has married an abusive, selfish man. and before she is due to give birth to her first child, Rainey is shattered by Step's deepest secret. Several months after the birth of her child,Step dies, and Rainey returns to Raleigh. She remarries, has two more children, and lives what is, for African-Americans of the time, her second idyll as the wife of a sought-after attorney. Rainey's second idyll ends in tragedy.
Found on her biological father's doorstep in Raleigh, NC the morning after her birth in 1899, Rainey Clark grows up in a loving household. After her parents' deaths, Rainey moves to Washington, DC with her wealthy and outspoken aunt, a speakeasy owner. She meets her ideal love match, who she later marries. Their marriage falls apart shortly after she becomes pregnant. After her son is born, and her husband dies under mysterious circumstances, Rainey returns to Raleigh, and later marries Attorney William Davis, who adopts her son. They have two daughters, and their life is idyllic compared to many Southern blacks. Rainey and her family are devastated by a life-altering event in 1960. Will she survive this time of hideous misery? Will her deepest secrets be revealed before she can resume some semblance of her former life? Will Rainey ever be able to have a sense of reasonable joy?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through Rainey's life in REASONABLE JOY and was saddened when the novel ended. I just wanted it to keep on going. Lauren Sanders-Jones is a wonderful storyteller! Each day I looked forward to what was going on in my girl Rainey's life. So, I hope Lauren Sanders-Jones is working on her next novel because I'm waiting for another installment!!!! Mo¿ REASONABLE JOY (smile) When I go to the movies or read a novel, I like to travel from my daily life to some place new and different for me. I like to feel as if I've been away or in another time. I like to sit back and savor the trip and imagine what it would have been like had I been there. Well, I can truly say that REASONABLE JOY took me away. Sanders-Jones¿s unforgettable characters and colorful descriptions made me feel like I was there, a fly on the wall, witnessing the ups and downs, joys and sorrows that rocked Rainey's world. I particularly enjoyed the years in DC, the introduction of Step Herndon and the drama of that time in her life¿ The tragedy surrounding her daughter was painful but very real, and expertly delivered¿ I loved it!!!!
You see the problem was: I couldn¿t stop crying when I finished REASONABLE JOY! Trust me, I am definitely not a ¿Weeping Winnie¿ or whatever you want to call it! However, the book REASONABLE JOY took me to emotional places I wasn¿t even aware existed within me. I consider myself an avid reader and there have been many books that I have read lately, by these so-called ¿new authors¿ that have left me scratching my head in awe as to how these books have actually made it onto public book shelves! If any of these books made me cry it was out of frustration that they are so readily available and Reasonable Joy is not. Reasonable Joy is not only well written, it is well thought out. The characters are so fleshed out that you feel that you intimately know them. It is a page turner that has all the elements to keep your mind stimulated: humor, tragedy, pathos, mystery, and most importantly, you care about each and every one of the multitude of characters whose lives and interconnections have you rushing to get to the next page. This is a must read for people who consider themselves ¿true readers.¿ I¿ve been reading ever since kindergarten (and I ain¿t no spring chicken!) and this is one of my most memorable books ever.