The January Girl
Grand Central Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/08)
Thandy Malone appears to have everything going for her. She is a young black woman that has just become a president at an investment company. She appears to have it all, success, money and beauty. While it appears that she was born with a golden spoon, her past holds some very sad secrets. Escaping from an abusive home, she ran off with a man that became a drug dealer. She had a child to him, and when he got caught, she lost everything. Being a strong survivor, Thandy turned herself into a success, while still keeping her past a secret. Not even her daughter knew that her father was in prison.
Ten years ago, Thandy got involved with a wealthy, married surgeon. At the time, it appeared he would leave his wife. Well that never happened and when Thandy finds out that he is cheating on her as well, she dumps him. She moves to Chicago to take on her new career. She discovers that her situation was more complicated than she realized. Her lover, Jack is devastated. It takes her leaving him for him to realize how much she meant to him.
Jack’s wife, Etienne, is an alcoholic. Years of Jack’s inattentiveness caused her to turn to alcoholism for solace. She finally finds strength within herself to stand up for herself and her children. In “The January Girl,” both women have to come to terms with their pasts so that they can clean up their futures. They discover the true depths of their inner strength. Unfortunately, for both of them, having to deal with betrayal is a huge part of their growth.
“The January Girl” is so real. It will really hit home for you when you find yourself relating to those moments in your life, when you find yourself doing something that you promised yourself you would never do, like trying to save your relationship with an unfaithful man. I really loved the depth of Thandy’s character. I don’t think that getting involved with a married man is the best choice; however, she was able to learn and grow from the experience. It made me feel really good that it took Jack the pain of losing her, to wake up to what he had.
I highly recommend “The January Girl.” I would love to see a future book with the rest of Etienne’s story in it. This is a perfect selection for a woman’s readers group.