Thursday, September 01, 2016

You're the Cream in my Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

An ACFW acquaintance who lives not too far away from me, in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, released her first novel on September 16, 2016. I promised to read and review it for her. It’s posted on Amazon, but I also wanted to include it here, for my readers who might be interested. With 100% sincerity, I gave it a five-star rating. I loved it, and I hope you will consider reading it, as well!

Debut author Jennifer Lamont Leo has penned the delightful coming-of-age story of small town Marjorie Corrigan, who experiences the bright lights, big city of Chicago in 1928, during the Jazz Age. Fainting spells over her upcoming marriage to a prominent local doctor send her to Chicago to be checked out.
While there, many things attract Marjorie, not the least of which is catching a glimpse of a man who is the spitting image of her former love, Jack. He’s buying a newspaper at the train station while she’s just boarded the return train home.
Since he never returned from the Great War ten years ago, he was presumed dead. Could he be alive? Marjorie, who had never stopped loving him, is determined to find out. I loved following Marjorie through every twist and turn as she determined the truth about the man resembling Jack.
Ms. Leo was not lazy in her historical research or stingy in including many fascinating details about Chicago in that era, and particularly the history of Marshall Field’s Department Store. I will confess that the pacing dragged ever so slightly around the quarter-mark, but interesting details kept me reading nonetheless. That, and that my mother grew up in Lake Forest, just north of Chicago. Ms. Leo mentioned Lake Forest several times in the story.
Though there is mystery aplenty and romance in the story, it is not a romance as such. It’s far more about Marjorie discovering who she is through the lens of two men and Roaring Twenties Chicago. Only readers who expect a typically unfolding love story, with both the heroine and the hero’s views on the various facets of falling in love might be disappointed.
As I read the novel, which is dialogue-heavy, including numerous fun slang terms that I remember hearing my mother saying, I imagined watching an old Hollywood movie unfolding in my head … So much fun!
This is Christian fiction, with more than a few references to God. I found it lovely, but if inspirational fiction is not your cup of tea, be warned. That said, I think even readers who eschew the category could enjoy reading about Marjorie Kerrigan, especially if they are interested in gangsters, bootlegging and Prohibition.
If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read the book free. Otherwise, the Kindle version is still a steal at $1.99. A paper version is available for $7.99.
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