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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Notown by Tess Collins

NotownNotown by Tess Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Notown by Tess Collins

If ever a book were written from the heart, it seemed to me that Notown is it. Randi Jo is one of the saddest people to narrate a story for me. She begins her story at the age of 9 and progresses to adulthood, cataloging so many events along the way that shaped her into the strong woman she became, but also needed to be. Experiencing her loss of innocence as little by little it is chipped away by her own family was sometimes funny and other times tragic. She learned at too early an age to do what she needed to do to survive. The area from which she came was full of people so dirt poor, they often did not know where their next meal was coming from. Fathers killed themselves working the mines, and there were not many, if any, alternatives for men other than a job which would probably give them Black Lung Disease. Randi Jo loved her daddy with all her heart, but she knew he was killing himself in the mine so she and her family could eat. That's a harsh reality for a child so young to absorb, but Randi Jo couldn't and didn't take much of anything for granted.

Because this book is to be part of a trilogy, many characters are introduced with the idea that we learn more about them in subsequent books. I will be standing in line for the next installment. Every character that played a part in Randi Jo's life was interesting to me, enough so that I want to read more about them and Notown. For me, Tess Collins is an author to follow, and my hunch is that others who read her book will feel the same.

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