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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
"Jenny’s Way" is a path that leads to shoreline cottages near a lake in a New England mill town in the 20th century. The story is told by John E. Walker Black - named so by his drunkard father - as he recalls events in his younger years. John E. lives with his grandparents, and learns from his grandfather that what was known to everyone as a fishing camp is actually a place men visit to drink, have fun, or have sex with the women the place houses. The camp is run by Jenny, whose granddaughter, Rachael, becomes John E.’s friend. Later a brute of a man called Buck Hunt brings trouble to the camp when he sneaks in and beats up one of Jenny’s girls.
A nostalgic and dramatic work of fiction that takes readers back to forgotten years, "Jenny’s Way" captures the heart of life in 20th century Connecticut. Diana Perkins paints the scenes and normal goings-on in such beautiful detail that time traveling seems quite possible, and one can almost smell the air. The story unfolds at an easy pace, but far from being boring. It compels one to continue turning the pages of the book. While the characters struggle through the gray areas in choosing right from wrong, and in a fight between man and societal norms, one cannot help but think of how obvious the answers are from the outside. Yet, these same circumstances still plague the world today. This is a book that is relevant in the past and at present. This is a story set in a small town that seems idyllic on the surface, keeping deep-seated troubles simmering underneath, and how the truly good fight against hypocrisy, intolerance and discrimination.