Monday, July 23, 2018

Book Review: In a Jam

By Sara Steven

Andie Carson has to do three things to inherit her grandmother’s lottery winnings—sober up, spend a month running her grandmother’s Georgia coffee shop, and enter homemade jam in the county fair. If she can’t meet those terms, the money goes to the church, and Andie gets nothing. She figures her tasks will be easy enough, and once she completes them, Andie plans to sell the shop, take the money, and run back to Boston.

After a rough breakup from his crazy ex-fiancée, Officer Gunnar Wills decides to take a hiatus from women. All he wants is to help make his small town thrive the way it did when he was a kid. But when wild and beautiful Andie shows up, Gunnar’s hesitant heart begins to flutter.

Gunnar knows that Andie plans to leave, but he’s hoping to change her mind, fearful that if her coffee shop closes, Main Street will fold to the big-box corporations and forever change the landscape of his quaint community. But convincing her to stay means getting close enough to risk his heart in the process. Even though Gunnar makes small-town life seem a little sweeter, Andie has to decide if she’s ready to turn her world upside down and give up big-city life. One thing’s for sure—it’s a very sticky situation. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I love the way In A Jam instantly draws you into its small-town diorama, creating connections with Andie and Gunnar, and the rest of the Georgia crew. I couldn’t help but feel taken in by them all, even the ones who give Andie her fair share of contention and hardship. There is a protective quality to the characters who want nothing more than to keep their small-town lifestyle alive, a quality that Andie is suddenly thrust into and has to make do with, sink or swim.

There was the perfect amount of give and take between the romantic notions of Andie and Gunnar. I appreciated how true to life it felt, despite the attraction. Moments of awkwardness and uncomfortableness that can only come from having to learn more about a person, and what they’re about. And when outside sources throw wrenches into what some might think should be smooth sailing, that only adds to the conflict. I really enjoyed that dimension to the story.

What touched me more than anything were the friendships formed, ones that you know are going to be life lasting. I felt that the most with the interactions between Andie and the coffee shop occupants. I could picture what it might be like to have the ones you love the most visit you daily, and that’s the kind of love Andie finds while she’s working hard to fulfill her end of the bargain, in order to receive her grandmother’s lottery winnings. She may be new to the town, but soon the town envelops her within its open arms, only adding to the confusion on what the right decision will be, when she finally receives the money. Should she stay, or should she go?

I read In A Jam in in two days’ time, because it was such a fun, sweet read. Andie makes the perfect protagonist with a few antagonistic qualities that will continue on long after you’ve finished reading her story, a small-town diorama that never lets go.

Thanks to Cindy Dorminy for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Cindy Dorminy:


Janine said...

I enjoyed this book too.

Rita Wray said...

I love books set in a small town. Sounds like a good read.