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Monday, April 18, 2011

(51)Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore

Jiminy Davis quit law school and ran away to her grandmother's home in rural Mississippi. She is hoping to sort out her life and figure out what kind of path to take with her future. Instead of sorting things out for herself she finds herself distracted by the handsome med student, Bo and a young woman also named Jiminy that lived many years ago. Jiminy's relationship with Bo pushes the ever present racial boundaries still alive and thriving in the deep South. There are many people in the town of Fayeville very uncomfortable with Jiminy and Bo's relationship and their investigation into what happened to the original Jiminy all those years ago.

Kristin Gore made a name for herself writing more of a fluffier type of novel with Sammy's House and Sammy's Hill. She has departed from the "fluff" and takes on hard hitting social issues in Sweet Jiminy. Not only we have a sweet, albeit naive, young woman who has fallen in love with a boy of a different race. That Sweet Jiminy is also outraged over the injustice of the unsolved murder of the husband and daughter of her Grandmother's friend, Lynne.

I really did enjoy Sweet Jiminy. Jiminy's idealistic sweetness did really radiate through the pages and made her a very likable character. I thought her reactions to the attitudes she encountered was very genuine. And aided her in growing up just a little. She was forced to face harsh realities when she realized that people in Fayeville really HATED her for who she was spending her time with. At the same time though, with her working so hard to solve the mystery of what happened to Edward and Jiminy all those years ago, she DOES change the attitude of some people who had spent their entire lives looking the other way. It was a very enlightening situation for people on both sides of the issue.

Kristin Gore has written a great novel about social injustice wrapped up in the mystery genre. She has done a fabulous job at illustrating the different mindsets of the different generations and how environment DOES contribute to a persons outlook on things such as biracial relationships. I think in the right circles, Sweet Jiminy will spark a lot of necessary dialogue about old social wounds and how to heal them. Sweet Jiminy is on sale tomorrow.