Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Review: Just Down the Road

Just Down the Road
By Jodi Thomas
Berkley, 2012
English, 336 pgs

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas is pleased to present JUST DOWN THE ROAD, the fourth novel in her award-winning Harmony series.

Harmony, Texas, is a place where dreams are born. As the townspeople face unexpected endings and new beginnings, they also come face to face with themselves—and what’s most important in life...

When Tinch Turner lost his wife, he gave up on living. Now he spends his nights brooding, boozing, and brawling. When one of his escapades lands him in the ER, he finds himself staring up at the beautiful new doctor in town. For the first time in years, he feels a spark, but Addison Spencer wants nothing to do with the unruly rancher—or any man for that matter. She’s only in Harmony four months, long enough for the trouble she left behind to be over. But then a vulnerable little boy barrels into both their lives, forcing them out of the past—and into a future where love is just down the road...

In the meantime, as Reagan Truman grieves for her beloved uncle, she finds comfort in the makeshift family she’s made in Harmony—and in a new baby, the first born in the Wright Funeral Home in 45 years, proving to everyone that life does go on…

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 34 novels and 11 short story collections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

The question I always fear the most when I’m traveling on book tour is, “Where do your ideas come from?”

In truth, I often want to say, “Where did yours go?” because for the most part I don’t know where ideas some from.  For the most part it’s not an idea, but a person who jumps into my mind first.  He, or she, walks in, sits down and begins to tell me a story I have to follow.
When that happens, as it did in JUST DOWN THE ROAD I grab my computer and start hoping I can hang on to wherever the story takes me.
My story opens with a rancher named Tinch Turner who is grieving the loss of his wife and best friend the only way he knows how, by working too hard and fighting just as hard.  He’s lost the light in his world and sees himself as just waiting to take his last breath.  Only problem is, he runs into is a doctor who sees her job as fighting to keep people alive, even him.
Doctor Addison Spencer moves in just down the road from him and before either realize it they both become involved in the same cause.  One little boy pulls them together and makes them both forget their own problems because his needs are so great.
I like to write my stories like life, with people’s worlds circling around one another and sometimes colliding.  The stories that happen in Harmony are like that.  Some ending as others begin but all richer for being together.
JUST DOWN THE ROAD is my fourth stop off in Harmony, Texas.  Though the books are related they don’t have to be read in order.  However, for those readers who love series, you might want to start with the first, WELCOME TO HARMONY.  Though the stories are different, you might have fun watching the way a few of the people grow through the books.
Step into my stories.  You’ll find a home in Harmony.

Check out the trailer on YouTube HERE.

My Review:
I am so happy to get to return to Harmony. Reading this book has been like calling home and getting the local gossip from my momma. I feel like I know the characters and can't wait to see what they've been up to since I last read about them.

The story grabs you really early on and doesn't let go until you put the book down, wondering about what will be the next story! From birth to death, this book covers a slice of life in a small town over a few weeks. 

Particularly touching to me, was the story of Jamie, a 4 year old little boy. Being the mother of a 5 year old, I laughed at some of the things he did! I can imagine a little boy learning about horses and smarting off with that knowledge as if he'd been an expert for years! My son also loves the round oat cereal that he carries in his pockets because horses like oats! Mine likes to throw them to the birds (no idea if they eat them or not, but he loves to do it!) in the backyard.

Several story lines were wrapped up, but some are still waiting for resolution. Hopefully that means that there will be another book soon!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for hosting a blog tour and a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you Jodi for including me again!