Thursday, March 27, 2014

Raising John by Jennifer Lesher (4 stars)

About Raising John

Publisher: Paperback: Cavu Press (Jan. 18, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

How do you go on living when you have done the unforgivable? How do you love a mother you barely remember? John is an orphan who misses the mother he hardly knew. Robert is the drunk driver who killed her. As the story opens we meet 4-year-old John, who wonders why his mother had to die. Robert wakes up in lockup, expecting to sleep off a blackout and go home, until he learns of the accident he caused.

John grows up under the care of his devoted maternal grandmother, who grapples with guilt over her daughter’s past. Just as John is on the cusp of manhood, he must confront his mother’s death anew and question everything he has come to believe about himself and the people he loves.

Robert is sentenced to 4 years in state prison. His incarceration begins a journey that will have a profound effect on not only himself, but on the life of the boy he orphaned, and on the legacy of the young mother who died.

Raising John was a semi-finalist in the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Alumni Association Emerging Writers Contest.


At its heart, this is a story about love and loss. It's about owning up to our mistakes and dealing with the consequences. John's life begins in loss when his mom dies in a tragic car accident. He doesn't know her and lives with a grandmother who struggles with the past.

Memorable characters and a moving story--one that tugs on your heart one minute and makes you fighting mad the next--make this an unforgettable read. We find out how many lives can be ruined by addiction and lies. At first, I struggled with the abrupt storyline changes (both in character focus and time shifts); but once the story founds its groove, I couldn't put it down.

With each revelation, I became more invested in the characters and desperately wanted them to find a way out of the vicious cycle they found themselves in. Then came a twist I wasn't expecting. It further intensified the emotional roller coaster I found myself on. And while I didn't find the ending very satisfying, I think it was realistic and appropriate.

Heart-wrenching and thought-provoking, Raising John is an emotionally-charged and memorable read.

Rating: 4 stars

About the Author

Jennifer Lesher is an author, mountain biker, travel junkie, non-sufferer of fools, and graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. Recently Jennifer left her job in the high-tech industry to pursue certification as an airplane mechanic. She will complete her schooling in the spring of 2015 and, FAA willing, will be certified shortly thereafter. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Connect with the author: her website, Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads.

Thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours for including me on this blog tour. For more information, please visit the Raising John blog tour page
Note: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the opinions expressed are my own.


Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed 'Raising John"!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your review means a lot to me.

Tia Bach said...

Teddy, thanks for having me on tour.

Jennifer, thanks for speaking to my heart.

Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book :)

Tia Bach said...

Definitely a good one, Teena. ;-)