Despite enduring a troubled childhood and an unplanned pregnancy, a young woman not only makes amends for her past but finds unconditional love in this debut novel.
From the outside it appears that Janie is just another statistic—she recently gave her baby up for adoption and has little more than a high school diploma when she moves to Myrtle Beach, S.C. While living with three other girls in an old beach cottage, beautiful but broke Janie lands a job as a waitress. Her future is bleak, or so it seems, until gorgeous Jerry Lambert comes into her life and sweeps her off her feet. Kind and caring, Jerry is understanding yet firmly encouraging, and it is only through his belief in Janie and his willingness to help her financially that she is able to accomplish more than she ever dreamed possible. As Janie obtains her real estate license, leaves her waitress job behind her and finds her way back to her estranged but loving family, Jerry’s love is unwavering. Jerry’s feelings for Janie are so strong that he even casts aside his meddling sister and risks his financial future to be with Janie. And as Janie overcomes her father’s untimely death, her precarious relationship with Jerry’s family and her own lengthy list of insecurities, she realizes that Jerry is truly her biggest champion in life and that with him by her side she can conquer anything. Holt’s novel is straightforward and simple; he portrays the protagonist’s struggles honestly, and readers will find themselves relating to Janie’s resolve to succeed, all the while appreciating her determined efforts to redeem herself for past transgressions. While some will find the author’s writing style repetitive and rudimentary (no detail is spared about Janie’s daily routines, her meals, her movements, etc.), it’s clear that Holt has put his heart into this book. Readers who can look past the interminable, unnecessary details will find themselves moved by Janie’s candor and vulnerability.
While flawed, this modern-day fairytale may find an audience with readers who are determined to make a better life for themselves.