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Reviewed by Rolanda Lyles for Readers' Favorite
Jessica Atwood is an organic farmer who comes from a line of women who are seers. Some people don't understand their gift, but they can see snippets of the future. They have been called everything from crazy to witches, but Jessica's grandmother, Anna Mae, believes wholeheartedly that if she follows the order of things, everything will be ok, and maybe even save some lives. Jessica's mom, Katherine, also believes in following the visions and uses her sight to help the police and other neighbors solve a few crimes. Jessica, however, sees her sight as a curse. A few times, when she followed her visions it seemed that they weren't true, so she battles with warning people or not when they come. After the death of her mother, Jessica and her stepbrother Kevin take over their family organic farm in Center Point, Texas, but the farm struggles to stay afloat. Forced to sell a small part to a couple of brothers, and with a great idea for extra income from Kevin, Jessica relaxes, thinking that their home is safe from being taken over by the bank. That ease is short-lived when a series of suspicious accidents damage their farm and family. The fate of their family's legacy and maybe even their lives may be at stake if Jessica doesn't decide to trust the visions she has and take action.
Datta Groover's The Reluctant Visionary is a dual-timeline action-packed thriller about a generation of women who have the ability to see the future. They all handle their gifts differently and are faced with the difficult choice of following or not following what the visions say. While Anna Mae believes the visions are absolute truth, Jessica believes the visions are things that could happen but are not definite. Sometimes Jessica's gambles fail and people get hurt because she chose not to speak up. The story is also set in one of the whitest counties in Texas and Jess deals with other issues in being one of the few black people in the county. Groover's writing is full of suspense, love, passion, and mystery, and the story pulls you in from the very first page. A story full of brilliantly and cleverly written characters, The Reluctant Visionary is a must-read.