MAKING IT HOME
Pub Date: July 26, 2021
Series: Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series
Stand Alone: YES
Categories: Family Fiction / Racism / Ku Klux Klan / Texas Women’s Fiction / Rural Fiction
In this third novel in the Jackson’s Pond, Texas series, fifty-five-year-old Melanie Jackson Banks encounters racism, intolerance, and violence both in her family’s distant past and in current day Jackson’s Pond. She leads family and community efforts to create reconciliation for past wrongs and also to demonstrate strength and defiance in the face of vandalism, cross-burning, domestic violence, threats to Jackson Ranch’s operation, and kidnapping. In the midst of this stormy period, she finds allies in her mother’s long-time companion, Robert Stanley; her mother, Willa Jackson; her daughter Claire Havlicek; and many others.
PRAISE FOR MAKING IT HOME
Clueless Gent’s Rating for Making It Home
Making It Home is another marvel of the storytelling ability of author Teddy Jones. More than that, however, is the sense of hope and love that can only come from family and community.
This story continues the lives of the citizens of Jackon’s Pond, Texas. Even though this is the third book in a series, it completely stands on its own.
This particular story brings to light an evil that haunts our nation even today: hate and white supremacy. I found it very interesting that the author would take on such a topic in the Jackson’s Pond community. However, she did a wonderful job of easing it into the story, and then turning it into chilly suspense as she builds to the climax.
Three generations of the Jackson family are the main characters. From the very beginning, it’s obvious that this is a close-knit family, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their share of problems. It’s their ability and willingness to help each other that seems to make them endearing. From the beloved matriarch to the young “goat herder,” they each have a different list of priorities.
When the neighboring ranch begins to warp into a Ku Klux Klan operations center, and the hate and fear begin to spread, it’s obvious there will be a boiling point, but the author is very good about not giving away too many details too early.
“Running away, fleeing in fear, a primitive instinct, could save a person from some types of danger. True. But not all fear was based on the sort of danger one should run from. This was not a rattlesnake.”
For me, what really makes these stories special – and makes Teddy Jones one of my favorite authors – is the way she relates the ongoing relationships of the family members and their closest friends. Without those dynamics, these would just be stories about people in Texas. But Jones makes the reader really care about what happens to the characters.
The pacing for this type of story is typically slow, and that’s the way this one starts out. That’s not a bad thing. It just is what it is. However, as the hate and fear begin to escalate, so does the pace. As we near the climax, I think the pacing is like running at a pretty good clip, but not fast enough to really get out of breath.
I particularly like the way Jones ended this story. It’s like seeing that first ray of sunlight after a bad storm. You see it, and you immediately know that things will be better.
The hate exhibited in this story is real. It exists. It would be good if we had the courage to do what the Jackson family (and their friends) did.
I enjoyed this story very much. I highly recommend it!
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