Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Raising John By Jennifer Lesher


By: Jennifer Lesher

Published: January 17, 2014 


This review is part of a blog tour with Virtual Author Book Tours.  To read more reviews or to enter giveaways of RAISING JOHN, check out the following blogs. 

Raising John Web Tour Schedule

So Many Precious Books Mar 14 Review & Giveaway                                       
Crystal's Many Reviewers Mar 17 Review                                               
Teena in Toronto Mar 18 Review                                                
Bookalicious Traveladdict Mar 19 Guest Post & Giveaway
Manic Mama of 2 Mar 21 Review                                                             
SincerelyStacie Mar 25 Review                          
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 26 Review                                                            
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 28 Guest Post  & Giveaway
Every Free Chance Mar 26 Guest Post & Giveaway

Sweeps 4 Bloggers Apr 7 Review & Giveaway
Heck Of A Bunch Apr 9 Review & Giveaway

Carole Rae's Random Ramblings Apr 14 Review & Giveaway

Luxury Reading Apr 18 Review

RAISING JOHN is a story of love, devotion, heartbreak, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption.  We first meet John as a four-year old boy trying to understand why he doesn't have a mommy and just a Grammy. Then we are introduced to Robert who wakes up in a drunk tank with no memory of what he just did and why he needs to post $100,000 bail.  He will soon find out he was the drunk driver who killed a young mother, named Mary.

The story begins with Mary as a young child being raised by her parents in what appears to be a loving home and quickly turns into a nightmare for both Mary and her mother, Barbara.  The abuse and control over their lives grows as we travel through Mary's childhood.  As a teenager, Mary becomes more resentful of her father's abuse and her mother's inability to stop it.  Mary moves away to college and we find that she has put herself in the same position as her mother.  As the reader, I cringed when I knew Mary was making the wrong choices and could see the red flags that this was not going to be what she wanted.  

As we learn Mary's story, we also flip back and forth to Robert's story as he travels through life as a prison inmate.  Robert tries to fit in and just wants to do his time and get out of there.  But, once he begins to attend AA, he learns the only way to heal may be by admitting to his victim's family that he was wrong.

We also watch John grow up in the story, being raised by his Grandma.  All along he knows that his mom died in a car accident.  But, when by chance, he finds out the real truth behind his mom's accident, his life and Robert's will forever be changed.  Their connection will surprise you.  

I found this to be a quick read and without the foul language, I think it would appeal to young readers as much as the adult reader.  In fact, it reads more like a YA novel.  Since the novel jumps around in time a lot, I appreciated that the chapters began with a heading of time and place so you knew who you were going to be reading about for awhile. 

The years of abuse that Barbara and Mary went through were horrific. The fact that Barbara was then able to raise John as Mary would have, showed a deep devotion to her grandson and a fervor to right the wrongs from Mary's childhood.  Although Mary didn't get a second chance, Barbara tried to give John the best life possible.

Even though I was a bit frustrated with the ending, it reminded me that life isn't always neat and tidy.  We don't always get those happy endings and maybe, this ending for Barbara, John and Robert will be enough.

Jennifer Lesher - source
Jennifer Lesher is an author, blogger, mountain biker, travel junkie and armchair philosopher.
Recently Jennifer effected a career change, leaving her job in the high-tech industry to pursue certification as an airplane mechanic.
In her past life, Jennifer graduated from the University of Chicago and the School of Hard Knocks, Her career has ranged from warehouse production supervisor to fishing industry laborer, to technical manager for a large, purportedly monopolistic software company.
For more on Jennifer, visit http://jenniferlesherauthor.com/.  You can also find Jennifer on Twitter, HERE and Facebook, HERE.

To purchase RAISING JOHN, click on the photo below.  

This review is part of a blog tour.  Thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours for sending a copy of this book.  This review is my honest opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  If you chose to purchase through the above link, I may receive a small compensation without you spending a cent more for the book.  Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com reviews. 


Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed 'Raising John'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stacie!

Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book :)