Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: The Girl from Home

Summary: The acclaimed author, whose recent novel of suspense Losing Faith was declared “startling…a well-crafted story” (Kirkus Reviews), takes you on a gripping psychological thrill ride in this electrifying tale of a millionaire who will go to deadly lengths to get what he wants.

Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn’t even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie’s jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined? -Gallery Books

When I first heard about THE GIRL FROM HOME by Adam Mitzner, I thought it would be perfect for my Mystery Mondays feature. And I probably could have used it as a Mystery Mondays post; however, it was less of a thriller/mystery than I was expecting. That's not to say that I was disappointed... far from it, in fact. This novel was an interesting look at one man's downfall and his possible redemption story.

THE GIRL FROM HOME tells the story of Jonathan Caine, a major player on Wall Street and a man who seemingly had it all -- tons of money, a prestigious job, a gorgeous wife, etc. However, Jonathan learns how quickly everything can go wrong. When he finds himself facing a problem meeting his obligations at work, he turns to some questionable activities which get him in some trouble with the Feds. Left with virtually nothing, he heads back to his hometown just in time to spend some valuable time with his aging (and estranged) father and attend his 25th class reunion.

At the reunion, Jonathan finds himself talking to the girl of his dreams, prom queen Jackie Williams. She never had a thing to do with Jonathan when he was back in high school -- he wasn't even a blip on her radar. Jackie married the team's star quarterback, has two kids, and never left their hometown. She also happened to marry a man who is an adulterer, an alcoholic, and an abuser. Jonathan and Jackie immediately feel a strong connection, and they begin a clandestine affair.

Jackie makes Jonathan a better man (although truth be told, that wouldn't be hard because he was despicable!) Despite having a strained relationship with his father, Jonathan finds that he was a much stronger man than he ever knew. He even takes valuable advice from him when he tells Jonathan that it's not too late to be a better man.

When Jackie's husband starts to suspect their relationship, Jonathan and Jackie have a reason to fear for their lives. So much so that they think he needs to go... especially after he attacks Jackie and Jonathan! This love triangle goes from bad to worse very quickly, and Jonathan is forced to confront how much he loves Jackie and whether he really has changed into a better man.

THE GIRL FROM HOME was definitely an interesting read! The first half of the book introduced Jonathan, a truly self-absorbed man driven by greed and money. He doesn't realize it at the time (but the reader will) that he has basically no valuable relationships in his life -- only possessions. The author gives a lot of detail about Jonathan's job and his precarious financial dealings; and while I found some of it to be interesting,there were times that I thought the information to be a little too tedious.

Having said that, when the book moved to Jonathan's hometown, I thought the the story moved a lot quicker and really became good. Jonathan's character development was really interesting -- too see how he went from such a self-centered man to seeing more about the people in his life. I really enjoyed the scenes when Jonathan visited his father, who was suffering from dementia; and I loved how Jonathan began to see the man his father really was.

I liked the relationship between Jackie and Jonathan, although I will say that I thought it went from fun to serious really fast.... almost unbelievably fast! As the story played out, I was even more surprised by the depth of Jonathan's feelings. I honestly didn't think he was capable of loving someone besides himself, although I will admit that I always had my doubts about him!

I don't want to give too much away but something happens in the book which really tests Jonathan and how much he loves Jackie and how much he wants to save himself. It's an interesting prisoner's dilemma of sorts, and there is a nice twist at the end of the story. Overall, it was an entertaining read!

THE GIRL FROM HOME isn't your typical suspense novel, but it does have some psychological surprises along with way. I consider it more of a redemption story, but either way, it will appeal to a great many readers.

Thanks to FSB Associates for providing a review copy of this novel.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

The financial details do sound a little dry but the book sounds exciting!