A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

This book is so difficult to describe that I’m going to have to use the Amazon’s words “…a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.”

That’s a simplified description of a very complex and layered novel about family, secrets, and love. The characters are wonderfully drawn and each one is a delightful mix of flaws and redeeming qualities – in other words, they are all very realistically human. There is a lot of sorrow and drama in this incredibly lyrical novel, but likewise there is humor and wit, often where you least expect it. I highly recommend this book to fans of Jackson’s other work and fans of other Southern authors such as Mary Kay Andrews and Mark Childress.

BTW: I enjoyed this novel as an audiobook, which was performed/read by the author. She did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. If you are an audiobook fan, scoop this one up for your next road trip!

~Heather C.