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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way is a novel by Jeffrey Blount. Ostracized by his family after a visit to a prostitute is sensationalized in the media, a well-known Black billionaire flees Washington, D.C. amid the heartbreaking ending of his marriage to seek seclusion and anonymity in rural Mississippi. Expecting an idyllic setting like his childhood, he arrives to find instead that the bungalow he bought online is in a dilapidated neighborhood. Families live in abject poverty, their houses are unfit for habitation, the schools are failing the children, and basic government services are inadequate or nonexistent. Can he help his neighbors find a path to hopefulness and prosperity even if it means becoming the target of a racist town leader who wants him gone?
In Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way, Jeffrey Blount gives us an utterly inspirational story of transformation at both the personal and community levels through the power of love, hope, and charity. I enjoyed reading this book, especially the way the author addressed practical solutions to poverty and restoring hopefulness and dignity. I appreciated the significant role that Mr. Jimmy’s parents were given in inculcating positive values in him as a boy. These underpinned his life and actions as a man. The intrinsic goodness of many characters is heartwarming while the evil, injustice, and unkindness of others is a sad note on the struggle that many Americans still face due to racism. The narrative is engaging and well-paced and weaves a complex tapestry of characters, plot, and theme. Highly recommended.