Just Another Sunday

A Novel

Young Adult - Coming of Age
392 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Elizabeth Good is a dental office manager for a prominent Monmouth County, New Jersey dentist. She hails from Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in Toms River, New Jersey, with her husband and 13-year-old shih tzu, Saverio. She has one son, three stepchildren, and three grandsons. A two-time author, Just Another Sunday is Elizabeth’s first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

In 1968, Lia Benedict's Italian-born father and his brother, Joe, sell their Brooklyn-based business, Jo-Fran Refreshments, and Frank Benedict moves his family to a New Jersey town for a better, safer life. Lia's older sister, Tina, is marrying, but Lia and her younger siblings, brother Frankie and sisters Lana and Joanna still live at home and learn to adapt to life in the suburbs. Lia becomes friends with Darla Reed, then finds steadier friends in Linda and Brenda. She begins to live her teenage life and starts a romance with local boy Jesse Carlisle. Darla goes off to Woodstock and to a "hippie" style of life while Lia maintains her "good girl" style of life under the watchful eyes of her parents, Frank and Marie Benedict. Jesse is caught with two local "bad" boys who deface the local pork store and is faced with jail time or joining the Army. He chose the Army and is sent to Germany, Japan and finally Panama and gradually loses touch with Lia even though he loves her. Then Lia's father suddenly dies and the Benedict family begins to fall apart. Lia looks for romance with Vic Somers, Darla's old flame, but will romances help Lia find her way in life?

"Just Another Sunday" tells of the late 1960's and the importance to teenagers of family life, of each other and of the music from popular musicians and groups of that era such as Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Stones, and Martha and the Vandellas. Lia Benedict is a great main character as she makes her way in life through death and romances that never worked out as they should. Secondary characters such as Jesse, Darla, Lia's brothers and sisters and her parents are well-created and believable with their imperfections and shortcomings. Author Elizabeth Good has a story to tell of how coming of age is rarely easy and she writes that story very well. "Just Another Sunday" is a great book for readers everywhere.

Edl on Goodreads

In Just Another Sunday, Elizabeth Good has a story to tell and she does so movingly and unflinchingly in this deceptively simple coming of age novel. The seemingly vapid teenage dialog belies the book’s deeper themes of loss, the crutches we seek and the interplay between fate and the choices we make.

Set in 1960s New Jersey, Lia Benedict is uprooted from New York City when her parents buy their dream home in a New Jersey suburb. Instead of being on the gifted track with a promising future, Lia’s options are narrowed to hanging out at the Sweet Shop with friends and mooning over boys.

The dream house, built on a high water table, turns into the family’s nightmare, ultimately leading to Lia’s father’s death on just another Sunday. The second half of the book chronicles the fragmentation of the family as each member struggles to cope with Frank Benedict’s death. After being overwhelmed by depression, Lia’s mother turns first to valium and then to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, preaching to anyone who will listen. Lia flailing through her own pain makes a series of questionable choices.

Music is integral to Lia’s view of life, and the book satisfies those 1960’s nostalgia cravings with plenty of references to the music that shaped the baby boomer set such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Martha and the Vandellas.

This book may not be for everyone. If you aren’t interested in the emotional interior of a teenager grappling with the death of her father, this may not be your read. But those who are will be amply rewarded, and any book club will have plenty to talk about.

Lisa on Goodreads

This was a good, light read!

Kathy LaMontagne

Just Another Sunday is a refreshingly different, honest and
heartfelt book based on real life; a look into the life of a 15 years old girl who is forced to move with her family to
NJ from NY. Ms Good write her story very well. The book flows and moves along nicely. She packs 5 years of the protagonist's life in 392 pages and shows us how life was for a teenager in the suburbs of New Jersey back in the 60s; complete with the insecurities of being the "new girl",
the pain of not "fitting in" and making new friends in a new environment. Part One starts out light and easy -- rather ordinary happenings complete with boy-crazy, teenage
shenanigans and dilog. It builds and then shifts gears towards the end of Part One. Then Part Two takes us through the very serious life issues that are thrust upon Lia and
her family. We see Lia mature before your very eyes. I loved this book and you will too.

rms911

This book really made me nostalgic for the 'good old days' when the world was simpler and less high tech. The author really evoked the feel of the era, and her use of words to paint images was very deftly handled. I would suggest this to anyone who loves coming of age novels or wants to remember the names and places of their teen years in New Jersey or New York; although anybody that suffered the angst of teen love and adolesence will appreciate this wonderful novel as well. Worth the read!

SophieJ

A well-written, emotional book especially for women. It's easy reading and flows well. There's a lot of hidden meaning and lessons weaved throughout that cause one to think and look back at how life changing events can impact decisions made and paths taken early in life. Yet it is also young and light-hearted with lots of references to the music of that era.

L.James

This book is well written, and has it all. It was very entertaining---nostalgic, funny, sad,poignant and very thought-provoking; especially in the last chapter and conclusion. I would recommend Just Another Sunday for a book club to dissect as there are a lot of interesting elements to the plot and to the believable characters.

Anonymous-Barnes & Noble

Easy reading- can be done in one night. Did not want to put it down. I like that it is based on a true story. Engaging, entertaining dialogue. The author wove a good story. The plot is tight and the characters are well-developed. I like that Ms Good used a tremendous amount of engaging dialogue and didn't waste my eyes on unnecessary descriptions. She did it when needed, but not overly done. Definitely recommend.

rocket

Just Another Sunday is a novel about a young girl who with her family moves out of the city and into the suburbs. Her parents dream for their children of clean air and open spaces. Of coure Lia hates the idea of leaving her familiar surroundings and best friends. She grew up in the city, knows city life so what can a place with lots of grass and trees have to offer. Thus the coming of age story is born. You will meet many character's with whom she befriends and sweethearts she fell for. Family plays a big role in this book. That I think is the biggest attraction I had to this story. The author has a unique way of connecting the reader to the story and recalling my own youth with song title's (most that I forgot), what we did in our free time and what was happening in the world. Remember it's the 60's so there was a lot happening. It is also a book you will reread to be sure you didn't miss anything. So go ahead and read and be transported to another time with memories imbedded in the corners of your mind. You will come away eyes glazed and saying "I remember that too"

brenda

this is a great book had a hard time putting it down. It brought back some wonderful memories for me as a teenager. I am hoping this author will write some more novels. great great great

Amazon Customer

I loved this coming of age book. I breezed through it. Just Another Sunday was an easy read and I was with Lia right away. I loved her “isms.” The makeup, her swift teenage attitude with her friends and family (the language vernacular of the time is so funny) balancing her teenage whims & wants with her undying loyalty to the family that she loves unconditionally. I find that a lot of coming of age books, the reader is disconnected in some way, but it’s just the opposite with Just Another Sunday. Whether it reads like a YA novel or not, it is still a good story. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of coming of age novels that are in our classic literature cannon that are good solid and truthful stories, so for me, those comments from other reviews are bootless. Lia is a teenager growing up in the 60’s. We need to slide into her person with as much empathy as possible and Ms. Good achieves that with grace. She also threads in some awesome music from that time period which provided another “heart window” to Lia, making me laugh, root for her endlessly, and empathize with her trials of growing up. I found myself listening to Martha Reeves and The Vandellas to Zeppelin.. The Benedict Family story brings levity and love, especially in moments like when she urges her brother Frankie locked in his room to go to the diner to have a chocolate shake. These moments are so simple and beautiful.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” She wiped the tears and held her breath. There was no response. “I love you Frankie.”

These are the moments of this book. Although there are some choices you are begging Lia not to make, I still want to know why and what happens next. The love, the changes, the friendships made and broken and the family including that structure in the backyard.. all reflecting the choices we make or could have made. It is all bittersweet and such is life. I identified with it and I couldn’t wait to read Elizabeth Good’s second book. Brava.