When I read the anthology, Hot Days, by T.D. Jones, the words “honest feeling” came to mind. The writing style of Jones takes the sensitive subjects of life, death, love and relationships, and weaves our common experience into the story of delightful characters.
In the anthology, “Who Put Grandpa In The Garden,” Chelsea, the lead character in the family unit, is the typical adult hero-child trying to take care of and please everyone. While she has a nursing degree and has worked at Piney Rose nursing home for over five years, she has a wonderful marriage to a supporting husband, Sam. But she feels the heaviness of multiple weights — taking care of grandma, Lilly, pleasing mother, and negative sister, Margaret, looking after each of her residents at the nursing home as they become her dear friends, then must leave life — and even more so, hers and Sam’s unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant in the midst of these stressors.
The pregnancy attempt that brings side-busting laughter to the reader is when Chelsea and Sam follow Chelsea’s nurse partner’s advice, the trick guaranteed to accomplish pregnancy — but they never quite figure out or accomplish doing it upside down. The humor is short-lived as Margaret, Chelsea’s older sister, comes into town to chastise Chelsea for a mistake made in caring for grandpa.
The sisters are counter-posed personalities: Chelsea, accident-prone, overly responsible, always trying to prove herself; and Margaret, the harping, blaming drama queen. Yet, there is mutual respect, and as mother (Linda) returns from her Alaskan cruise, she calmly directs mediation and smooths the sharpness between her daughters’ personalities.
The author develops the familial relationships of the characters, making us feel as if we are a part of the family. I was most struck by my feelings brought forth in the realistic characterization of the nursing home residents — grumpy Edith complaining of lovable 90-year old Harvey, but Chelsea ultimately playing their matchmaker. Then, there is Ms. Carver, who could spot a spill on the floor a mile away, or so she thought.
Jones says of herself: “I’m a West Texas girl and would not have it any other way. I write romance, family drama, all sprinkled with humor. I love to hear from my readers and can be found on any of my sites.”
I might add that she is talented in telling life and relationship stories in a way that we connect. She not only makes us want to read every page; she brings us to look at ourselves. Such insight can only come from having lived it. To be able to write in such a captivating way is truly endowed talent.
The second novella in the anthology is, “The Cockeyed Cowboy From Crockett County,” but to find out about him, you will have to buy the book. Don’t miss it; it’s too much fun.
Hot Days is available through Amazon and other fine ebook retailers. T.D. Jones can be found at: http:tdjones.weebly.com, or http:writingonthegoblogspot.com.
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