cover image Someone Else’s Love Story

Someone Else’s Love Story

Joshilyn Jackson. Morrow, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-210565-3

Friendships and relationships are tested by tragedy in this witty and insightful sixth novel from the author of Gods in Alabama and A Grown-up Kind of Pretty. Single mother Shandi Pierce is paralyzed with fear when she and her young son Natty are caught in the crossfire of a convenience store stickup gone bad. That is, until the dashing William Ashe steps between Natty and the gunman. Smitten by her erstwhile savior, Shandi buddies up to William, hoping their friendship can become more, but is stymied by complications in the form of Shandi’s disapproving best friend Walcott, William’s cohort Paula, Shandi’s ever-feuding divorced parents, and William’s own heartbreaking and as-yet unresolved past. With a deft wit and a series of stellar twists, Jackson creates a conventional love story that is also something more: an exploration of what draws people together, and pushes them apart; a commentary on faith’s ability to unite or divide; and a reminder that “death brushing past makes people hungry to connect to other people.” What emerges is a novel at once funny and touching, whose characters’ many flaws are overshadowed by all the ways in which they look out for one another. The final denouement of Jackson’s roller-coaster love story will leave the reader both thoroughly sated and hungry for more. (Dec.)