Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: SWEET JIMINY by Kristin Gore

Law school drop-out, Jiminy Davis, is at a loss for what to do next in her life. She decides to spend the summer at her grandmother’s house in rural Mississippi. When Jiminy learns of a forty year-old double homicide of an African-American girl and her father, which was never investigated or solved, she sets out to find justice. Along the way, she discovers that the racial divide of the past is closer than she thought.

I’ve lived in the northern U.S. my whole life, so it is easy for me to think of the racial problems and prejudices of the Civil Rights Era as history. The theme of this book revolves around how fresh these prejudices and social stigmas still are. One scene in particular that got to me was when Jiminy goes on a date with Bo, the nephew of her mother’s African-American housekeeper. The reaction of the white townsfolk was like something out of Mississippi Burning. I have to assume this book is accurate, even though it is hard for me to believe people still get this bent out of shape over inter-racial dating. It feels like a whole different world from the one that I live in. Or is it? I suppose one could make the point that my being Caucasian isolates me from seeing the racial prejudices around me. A valid point for sure.

The mystery of this book was fairly predictable. I knew who did it long before the big reveal. However, that does not mean the book was not worth the read. The prose was well done, the characters relatable and the ties between the past and the present were interesting.

Overall, I give Sweet Jiminy…

Plot – 3 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Mystery – 2 ½ bookmarks
Historical Themes – 4 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Amy Adams (Jiminy), Columbus Short (Bo), Cecily Tyson (Lyn), Jane Fonda (Willa)

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