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Reviewed by Jennifer Donovan for Readers' Favorite
In Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins, Pam comes to the hospital after learning that her husband had a heart attack on the train. Not only does she discover him dead upon her arrival, but she learns that the strange woman at his bedside is his mistress. Surprising everyone, Pam embraces the younger woman, feeling that Sandra is the only person who can empathize with her. Her spoiled, narcissistic younger sister, Marie, cannot understand Pam’s compassion, but not because she worries about her sister’s well-being; she is jealous that no one is concerned about how she is grieving…and why. As more and more secrets are revealed, Pam begins to wonder if she ever really knew her husband.
Pam’s reaction is unexpected and unbelievable; even the author, Suzanne Jenkins, admits that she could never handle a similar situation that way. But that’s what gives this story much of its appeal. When the most understanding woman in the world is betrayed and hit with blow after blow to her self-esteem, will she snap under the weight of it all? When your life is in shambles, do you lash out against the world, or do you build yourself a network of people who can support you? The shockwaves of Pam’s husband’s betrayal are so immense that this book is the first in a series. The book does not end on a cliffhanger, but it does allow for certain issues to be resolved and developed in later installments. I truly enjoyed every part of this book and am curious to find out how these three women cope with the fallout as the story progresses in the series.
Pam of Babylon was narrated by Marnye Young. The only critique I can offer is that a little more variation in the portrayal of the women’s voices would have helped, especially since some chapters were written from more than one point of view. It still remained clear who was speaking, though, due to the author’s skillful writing. The sound production was flawless, and Marnye Young is an expressive and talented narrator. I feel that her narration only added to my enjoyment of the story.