In the Heart of Texas
written by Ginger McKnight-Chavers
published by She Writes Press, 2016
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: It’s the best book I’ve read all year. The story is unique and the writing is amazing. I wish I could quote the entirety of chapter four for you, because WOW. Chapter Four. Seriously. Buy this book just for chapter four; it’s fantastic.
“So I’m back in Texas. Smack dab in the middle of the snorer and the beauty queen. Back in my old room with the ‘Midland Lee Rebels’ and Dallas Cowboys pennants over the bed and my wooden rackets leaning against the bookshelf with my tennis trophies and worn copies of Jane Eyre and Mrs. Dalloway. Eating iceberg lettuce instead of mesclun and rib eye instead of tuna rolls. Drinking DQ Blizzards instead of wheatgrass juice (OK, I never really bought into the wheatgrass thing, though I faked it). Not to mention Bud instead of Sauvignon Blanc. A lot of Bud, actually, sitting by the pool with my cousin, Memphis. Swatting flies while we wonder how inevitably hot the next day will be.”
Would I recommend it: Yes. Seriously. Yes.
About the book – from Goodreads:
Named a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews
Named a “Fall Must-Read” by RedbookMag.com * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle
Hailed as a “Best Fiction Book by Women of Color” at Bustle.com
Pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry,” forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director’s beach house—after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.
The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas “roots” and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.