A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

by Joshilyn Jackson


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A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past—and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446582360
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 163,648
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Joshilyn Jackson, a native of the Deep South, has worked as an actor and an award-winning teacher, and is now a writer and a mother of two. She is the author of gods in Alabama; Between, Georgia; The Girl Who Stopped Swimming; and Backseat Saints. Jackson lives with her husband and children outside of Atlanta. Visit her website at www.joshilynjackson.com.


Powder Springs, Georgia

Place of Birth:

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Jackson has done it again. I am a long-time fan of Joshilyn Jackson, as is noted here and here. Her writing takes me away into the worlds in her book, and the characters always feel so instantly like I've known them my whole life. Would it be weird to call her books "comfortable"? Because right from the prologue of this newest novel, I knew I was going to be stuck in my chair until the end. Wow, was the drama in this story heavy! And powerful, like a punch to the stomach, or a terrible image you accidentally stumbled upon on the internet. I completely loved the characters. Poor Mosey and her search for who she is, her turmoil over being a teenager with a dysfunctional family. She was so realistically wise beyond her years. Big was another I enjoyed immensely, as a mother who is trying to protect her children and her heart amidst an unspeakable crime. And whoo-boy, the dialog that came out of Lawrence's mouth weakened my knees! Once the clues started falling into place, I found myself feverishly turning the pages for more. A fantastic story by a much loved author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely book filled with family, love tragedy and everything in between.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Mosey has grown up in a house with her mother and grandmother, two women that have been scandalizing their Baptist community for 46 years. She is a great student, and a good kid but her family is one kind of obsessive about keeping her that way to the point of ridiculous. Mosey has no desire to be 14 and pregnant she has bigger goals set for herself if only the self-righteous would step aside. She was born illegitimate as was her mother before her but that is where they part familiar traits. Her mother was wild until a stroke knocked the life out of half her body and now Mosey’s grandmother is determined to bring her back. Mosey’s mother “Little” continued to struggle until the day a small treasure box is pulled from the ground in their backyard. After a tree is removed and Little sees what has happened the first word she says clearly is mine. Mosey and her grandmother “Big” have no idea what is in the box or how it got there but something has brought Little back to fight another day and now everyone wants to solve the mystery of the little box with so much to tell. As the story unfolds you discover that Little may have had some secrets she played close to her heart so does Big. So much as gone on while Mosey was trying to remain the good girl that at some point as the secrets pour out she wonders why? The adventure that started with the discovery of that little box becomes an obsession of lies and deceit that no one could ever imagine. When everything falls out of that box it will not only spill truth but also shine a light from above on the lies that everyone has been telling all these many years. Joshilyn Jackson makes every reader unable to put her books down and weep when they are over the sadness of them ending unbearable. There is so much to this story that no character is considered secondary with every twist and turn integral to the plot.
Genevieve_Graham More than 1 year ago
Joshilyn has a gift for getting to the heart of it. Her characters are as real as you and I are and the situations, while entirely unlikely, are absolutely feasible and beautifully handled. This is my first Jackson read. She's terrific.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had all the pieces - drama, mystery, romance, tragedy, family relationships and it made all the characters come alive. You get to know characters pretty well. Life is never what it seems. The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" is aptly applied to this book. Characters are so much more than they seem and so is don't believe everything you hear because that is what this book reveals...what you hear is not what actually has happend. Look forward to more of her novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This beautiful story captivated me from page 1, and I'm eager to read more from the author. I suggest you allow yourself a large chunk of time to enjoy this book because you won't want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time reading this author. The plot was good but the excessive swearing did nothing to add to the story line. I Would try this author again because she did have an engaging writing style
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So true to life----how your family is not always family genetically but still family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
interesting characters. good author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book couldn't have been anymore amazig than it already was! I was looking for a new story that woud keep me holding on and this is it! I recommend this to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is so good it rivals The Help and Water for Elephants. The audio is read by the author and proves she is as gifted a storyteller in-person as on paper. Highly, HIGHLY reccommend. Can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love to be transported into this world for a immensely entertaining few hours. Going back into search to see what else Ms. Jackson has written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joshilyn Jackson's book are always intertaining and laced with humor and suspense. A great tale about complicated family relationships and social status. This book draws you in and wont let you go. Told through the eyes of 3 generations of women all with secrets to hide. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her characters are so easy to relate to b/c she writes in such a way that you find yourself AS the character. Its truly like your there watching your dead grandbaby being uneartherd, or trying to communicate after youve had a stroke ect. this is the kind of book that you tell yourself you will read a chapter before bed and then next thing you know it 2:00 am and you still want more!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jackson has done it again. Amazing book of family and the emotions that go along with them. Truely a gifted voice.
Kimberly Rivera 15 days ago
I usually fly through this author's books but this one is a dud. So much redundant description of the one character's condition, I couldn't get through it. Don't waste your money.
Sharn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars - I really enjoyed this book. I love Joshilyn Jackson's sense of humor. She makes me laugh even when talking about such severe topics that are presented in this book.This is a book about a mother, Ginny (Big), a daughter, Liza (Little), and a child, Mosey - who is Ginny's granddaughter and Liza's daughter... or so you're told. Ginny believes that every 15yrs God comes after her and causes trouble which started when she became a mother at 15... then 15 yrs later she became a grandmother... 15 yrs later is no different. Liza has a stroke and when a skeleton of a baby is found in her yard there is much debate over who that baby is and then... who Mosey is...A lot of family dynamics and secrets here, along with a dose of jealousy and out right hatred all fought and won with the right amount of love.Definite recommend.
BookSpot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was not quite as outrageous as the other two Joshilyn Jackson books (Between, Georgia and Gods in Alabama) that I've read, but it certainly wasn't about your quiet unassuming, average everyday folk, either.Mosey Slocumb is fifteen, an age that would be hard enough on its own without the whole town watching you, just waiting for you to get pregnant. After all, it's what the Slocumb girls do when they're fifteen, they have babies. Mosey's mama did, Liza did and her mama, Big, did, too.With Liza recovering from the stroke she suffered several months ago and Mosey still flat as a board and not interested i boys, there's really no worry of her getting pregnant but soon that's just about the last thing on their minds . . .A tiny grave is unearthed when a tree is taken being taken out in their backyard. Finding out just how it got there - especially with Liza unable to talk to them about her more than checkered past - will push all three past where they thought they could go.Mosey, Liza and Big (her name is Ginny but Mosey calls her big - and Liza did when she could speak so she's refereed to as Big in the chapter titles and most of the book) are certainly not a conventional family but they are a strong one. Big, especially, has gone through a lot in her, really, rather short life. We learn of the hardships she had after having a baby at fifteen and then later on when Liza was older and now after Liza had her stroke, but she does an excellent job keeping the three of them together. She is the one working, hard as she can, to keep them all together and safe after the grave is found in the backyard and stirs up all kinds of potential trouble for them.I loved that chapters were told from each of their points of view so we got to see a bits of their past as well as how each of them viewed the current goings on. Not having it be told by one, first person narrator also allows the reader to see things about each character that they would not have allowed the other characters to bear witness to and third person would not have worked as well with Liza being one of the main characters - or working the memories, past events in.The multiples first person narration was a great way to tell A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.The ending was fantastic in terms of the familial relationships and each characters story getting wrapped up. We got to see how they each grew and developed because of the different things that happened and how their relationships with each other were different. I was a little disappointed about how the legal part of things wrapped up, though. I was curious for the whole book how that was going to go - and at the end kept wondering how it was going to conclude with such a little bit left - and I'm not sure it really did get resolved.Part of it obviously did and the characters seemed happy with it and maybe I'm wrong but it just seemed like legally there would have been more required. (Maybe not, though.)This book was just about as great as Joshilyn Jackson's first two!Rating: 8/10(read from NetGalley)
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful southern novel, with strong woman as central characters, and enough plot twists and turns to keep the story moving quickly. Jackson always manages to come up with such quirky, yet human characters and a plot line that has the reader quickly becoming emotionally involved in the story line.Loved the teenagers in the story and most especially loved Big. Charming and enjoyable.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I love southern fiction and have had this author on my want-to-read list for some time now. I actually own one other of her books (I won it) but haven't read it yet and finally got around to reading her with this book. I just love the cover! I used to have a few gingham summer dresses as a kid.I adored this book! What a beautiful, touching story. Set in Mississippi, each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the three women, each 15 years apart in age: Mosey is 14-turning 15, her mother Liza is 30, and Ginny, *her* mother, the grandmother, is 45. I loved every single one of these characters and simply took them into my heart. The story was sad and touching, yet full of hope against all odds. A despairing story that was uplifting at the same time. There is a mystery in the plot and I came up with a solution pretty much near the beginning which was continuously confirmed for me throughout the book, so I was quite shocked when 2/3 of the way through my theory became impossible and the mystery sorted itself out in a completely different direction. I loved this as I figure out mysteries too easily and like it when I'm wrong! I only had one problem with the book and that was that it was a slow read for me, I really don't know why but every time I picked it up I seemed to be reading at a very lazy pace. I was loving the book, but nothing could make me read at my normal speed until the last third of the book when the solving of the mystery comes into play and the action picks up, that part I read quickly. Now there is nothing wrong with a slow read, sometimes a book just demands that you take it in at a leisurely pace and mull it over. I actually kept wishing it was warmer out and I was reading the book under a tree somewhere. Trees are a symbol in the book. This will make a good vacation read, perhaps to take to the cottage with you. I will certainly be adding Joshilyn Jackson to my list of regularly read authors!
ceh0017 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this new novel from Joshilyn Jackson. Being from the south myself, I love the setting and characters in her novels and where they take you. It's so refreshing to see her going back to her mysterious roots after the last couple of books. This one reminds me more of the style of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. Definitely would recommend this to any and all Joshilyn Jackson fans!
susiesharp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by Joshilyn Jackson and I will be remedying that ASAP. This was such a great book I listened to it on audio and sat in my car in the parking lot for an extra 20 minutes just to get to the end of a chapter. What great characters I loved them all! This book is about family and what it means to be family. The 3 generations of women in this book will make you smile, cry and cheer. This was narrated by the author and I know audiobook junkies like me cringe a little when we hear this (unless you are Neil Gaiman) but I must say Joshilyn Jackson narrates this book like a pro and I think if you didn¿t know it you wouldn¿t think twice of recommending this narrator so I see that she narrates most of her book so I will continue with this author on audio!Once the first bombshell is dropped in this book you will not be able to turn back or put this book down! Oh my, it would be so easy to give away too much in a review but I want you to know how much I loved this book! Big, Little & Mosey are all great women in their own right, I loved how each chapter was told from each woman¿s perspective so you knew what each was thinking and hiding and revealing to the other and how the other reacts to it. As you may be able to tell I fell in love with this family of women and I just want to gush on and on. Maybe I better just stop here and say READ THIS BOOK!!5 Stars
bremmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The three generations of Slocumb women worry about what will happen every 15 years. Ginny or Big got pregnant with Liza at 15, Liza got pregnant at 15, so they both are keeping a close eye on Mosey as she nears her 15th year. That doesn¿t stop their world from being turned upside down. And they each struggle to keep their world together.I really loved each of the Slocumb women. I appreciated Big wasn¿t made into a model parent at age 15, sadly Liza suffered and struggled and, of course, became a teen parent herself. Liza is not a perfect parent ether but is really shown as becoming the better parent before being tragedy hit. But what I appreciated the most in this story was Mosey. So often teenagers are wise beyond their years able to put their thoughts and feeling into poetic terms. That wasn¿t our Mosey, she was wise and grown up in the way many girls raised in unconventional circumstance are without being precocious. Along with her friends she seemed to be a real kid.I don¿t have much real world experience with what happens when someone has a stroke but the way Jackson wrote Liza and had Liza try to find her way out and still deal with her past just rang so true. It was so moving and honest. I couldn¿t help but root and hope for the best for all the Slocumb women.Where has Joshilyn Jackson been all my life? How did I miss her books? I¿m fixing that already. I have Backseat Saints sitting on my shelf and I can¿t wait to get to it. And I think I¿m off right now to order the rest of her library. Oh, and I just have to say again-the cover is just beautiful.
SDPogue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of three generations ¿ Big, Liza and Mosey. Big believes that every 15 years they are cursed. This started when Big became pregnant with Liza at 15 and then Liza got pregnant with Mosey 15 years later. Mosey has just turned 15 and Big is trying to be vigilant. The year starts with Liza having a stroke which leaves her broken and withdrawn. Big knows that a pool will help and has a neighbor help take down the old willow tree in her yard which starts off a chain of events that will bring dark secrets out into the open and test the strength of Big¿s family. Told from all three perspectives, this was an amazing journey. I loved Liza¿s story since she was the one who couldn¿t interact much with the others. She was a delightful character who added a lot to the story. Though her body didn¿t work, her mind was working hard. I devoured this book, as I have all of Joshilyn Jackson¿s books that I have gotten my hands on. They are different from other southern chick books. There¿s a darker edge in her books, one that really shows the devil is in the details. There are such powerful connections between the characters and a love that transcends.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book once I adjusted to the Southern accent and cranked it up to 1.25 speed. This book starts with the end and then backs up and explains itself after the first chapter. I love that. It feels like you're in the action right away. The book alternates between the viewpoints of three strong, sassy women: "Big" (Jenny, the grandmother), Liza ("Little", the mom), and Mosey (the daughter). All are 15 years apart. Big explains that every 15 years is their challenge year. And the book takes place in her 45th year, another challenge year. Several things go wrong, but the book is ultimately about family and love. When the bones of a baby are discovered in their backyard, Mosey and her friend, Roger, embark on a journey to figure out her true identity. Mosey's chapters were my favorite. Roger's enthusiasm is reminiscent of Now and Then (movie). Big is trying to keep the truth from Mosey. And Liza's chapters reveal her past in pieces. It's a compelling story that had me eager to know the truth. And the full on snark from Big and Mosey had me smiling throughout. This book was a solid read, just not one I plan to read again. http://momsradius.blogspot.com/2015/06/book-review-grown-up-kind-of-pretty.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first I read a book by this author. The characters Were east to like.