By Gary Morgenstein
Wow! I love to spend a weekend with a book that keeps me reading, happy and enthralled! Jesse's Girl by Gary Morgenstein kept me turning pages this week!
I think the thing that was so fascinating for me was that the book sounded like it was true! It is written and told as if the main character, a parent, is sitting across the table from you, having a cup of tea, and sharing about the latest issues he is facing with his son. Given that Jesse is 16, on drugs, drinking and smoking, and has gotten into trouble with the law, I think all parents will relate to much of this story. The novel is broken down into three parts about the three main characters; however, Teddy, Jesse's father, is the primary character.
Teddy had lost his wife in a car accident, but it was after they had already separated. So Jesse's opinion is that he left the family and caused everything that happened thereafter, including sending him to a boys' institution!
When Jesse runs away from that facility and Teddy is not happy with how they are handling his disappearance, he first asks to have leave time, is refused, and then goes anyway, only to be later fired.
It is quite apparent that Teddy loves his son, even though Jesse does not see it or is willing to accept it. Teddy does an admirable job in searching and finally finding Jesse. However, when Teddy learns he has a girl friend and was going to Kentucky where she lived, Jesse is quite surprised when Teddy volunteers to drive him there. Actually I was too and think most parents would be unsure whether this was what he should have done.
Actually Teddy wasn't sure either--in fact, the book effectively covers his internal debates and thoughts so well that you suffer along with him for each quandry!
Teddy is surprised when they get to Kentucky to find that Theresa, Jesse's girl, is 21. Theresa welcomes both of them into her home and wins Teddy over almost immediately. Of course, it helped to see his son smiling and happy and talking with everyone in a normal voice.
Up until this point, readers are enjoying a story about a parent-son relationship. Thereafter? You won't believe it until you read it! For all hell breaks loose! All because Beau comes home from work...
Beau is introduced as Theresa's brother; they have dinner. Beau rides off with his friend on a bike and then Teddy goes back to the hotel while the young people have some private time. When Beau comes home, a fight takes place and Jesse and Theresa believe they've killed Beau and make their way finally back to Teddy's room. But Beau is not dead and he's coming after them! Leaving bodies as he goes from place to place where Theresa, Jesse and Teddy have gone, the police have no luck with his capture.
One surprise after another has Teddy wondering what to do. It is Teddy's basic good character and honesty that results in his making the best decisions possible, except maybe for the last decision, when he decides to go after Beau on his own!
I loved this book! Highly recommended for those who enjoy action and thrills, along with real-life situations into which it is so easy to escape! A Must-Read recommendation for Jesse's Girl by Gary Morgenstein!
G. A. Bixler