Friday, December 19, 2008

Where Do I Go? by Neta Jackson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Where Do I Go?

Thomas Nelson (December 9, 2008)


Neta Jackson

As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books. In addition to writing several books about Christian community, the Jacksons have coauthored numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of a multiracial congregation in the Chicago area.

They're trying something new! Not just new for them, but something completely new in Christian fiction: “Parallel novels,” two stories taking place in the same time frame, same neighborhood, involving some of the same characters living through their own dramas and crises but interacting with and affecting one another . . . just the way it happens in real life.

It’s something that only a husband and wife writing team could pull off. While Neta has Where Do I Go?, her husband Dave has written Harry Bentley's Second Chance.


A story of seeking-and finding-God's will in unlikely places.

Gabrielle Fairbanks has nearly lost touch with the carefree, spirited young woman she was when she married her husband fifteen years ago. But when the couple moves to Chicago to accommodate Philip's business ambitions, Gabby finds the chance to make herself useful. It's there she meets the women of Manna House Women's Shelter; they need a Program Director—and she has a degree in social work. She's in her element, feeling God's call on her life at last, even though Philip doesn't like the changes he sees in her. But things get rough when Philip gives Gabby an ultimatum: quit her job at the shelter or risk divorce and losing custody of their sons. Gabby must take refuge, as in the song they sing at Sunday night worship: "Where do I go when there's no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock."

Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “Exquisite characters coupled with God's mercy and love emanate from each page.”

Publisher's Weekly adds, “Jackson's Yada Yada series has sold half a million copies, and this new offshoot series ... promises the same.... The book's dramatic ending ... leav[es] readers eager for the next installment in the series.”

To read the Prologue and first chapter of Where Do I Go?, go HERE

Margie's review: While I am aware of Neta Jackson's YaYa series and characters, I've never read one of her books until I was asked to proofread Where Do I Go? for Thomas Nelson. I fell in love with Gabrielle and her boys . . . Philip, Gabrielle's husband, not so much. And I can certainly identify with Gabrielle's feelings about moving, being in a new area without knowing anyone, needing to establish her own identity in this new place. (With Roger's job taking him out of state, needing to set up an apartment in those places, I battle with these issues. Especially when trying to maintain two homes. Tough.) Gabrielle's journey in this new place, torn in different directions by the new home, her husband and children, and an aging mother, is authentic and at times gut-wrenching. But slowly she makes new friends, finds a job, and starts to establish her own identity, no longer satisfied with her role as only "Philip's wife." The ending was rough for me, since I'm one who likes to have everything neatly tied up at the end but still leave room for sequels. Not that life is that way, and the ending truly depicts life, but probably because it left me frustrated I could not go on to read the sequel immediately. Finding God's will for your life and then realizing that when you do it won't always be perfect is something I'm still growing in my own life. The author does an excellent job of handling this theme biblically. Overall an excellent read that I recommend highly. I look forward to the next book in this series.

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