Johnnie Come Lately

Fiction - Womens
292 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kathleen M. Rodgers' stories and essays have appeared in Family Circle Magazine, Military Times, and in many anthologies. Rodgers was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus. Three of her aviation poems from the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill) were featured in an exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY. In 2017, the Clovis Municipal School Foundation in Clovis, NM awarded her the Purple Pride Hall of Honor Award under the "Sports and Entertainment" category.

Seven Wings to Glory, Rodgers’ third novel, deals with racism and war and won an Honorable Mention for War & Military in the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the 2017 Somerset Awards. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, won a 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America & 2015 Bronze Medal from Readers' Favorite. Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the U.S. released Johnnie Come Lately and Seven Wings to Glory in hardcover large print 2018.

Rodgers is also the author of the award-winning novel, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, & Military Times.

She and her husband, Tom, a retired USAF fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot, reside in North Texas with their two rescue dogs, Denton and Jav. The mother of two grown sons, Thomas and J.P., she is working on her fourth novel set against the backdrop of the 2016 election.

Her future work is represented by agent Diane Nine of Nine Speakers Inc.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers unveils the world of Johnnie Kitchen. Johnnie comes from a family that is good at keeping secrets. Her mom has been missing for years, and she doesn't know why? Maybe the statue at Soldier’s Park knows the answer. Or, the bird that calls her name? Always vigilant, Johnnie looks for her mother in every stranger that crosses her path. Moreover, why is her dead uncle’s room a shrine? And why won’t her Grandpa let someone repair the dock? Questions with no answers. As a wife and a mother, Johnnie struggles with her own secrets. She is suffocating in her shame. Ultimately, she spews, dropping an A-bomb on her family. “All the lies, all the secrets, churned in her gut: growing, intensifying, climbing up her insides trying to escape.” Trying to move on, Johnnie finds herself living in two different dimensions: then and now.

Kathleen M. Rodgers writes a poignant story in Johnnie Come Lately. Powerful! Beautiful! Heartrending! Through the lives of her characters, Rodgers reveals the joys and burdens of motherhood, the trauma of war, and the ongoing battle of an eating disorder. She depicts the life of her protagonist with sincere realism. The supporting cast of characters brings out the worst and the best of the main character. There were several aspects of the novel I enjoyed. Namely, the symbolism of the statue, the bird, the dock and the painting. Using journal entries was an illuminating technique; they gave insight and flow to the plot. Lastly, the way Rodgers spoke directly to the heart of the reader. Warriors fight, they become battle weary, they lay down their lives for others. Some of the greatest warriors are mothers, they battle worry, fear and regret. They sacrifice all they are for their loved ones. Johnnie Come Lately portrays one woman’s will to overcome life’s tribulations through the power of love and the security of hope.