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The January Girl    by Goldie Taylor order for
January Girl
by Goldie Taylor
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2008 (2006)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a really interesting story. Taylor has taken us to a woman's world that includes everything from an abusive father to a husband thrown into prison to a glamorous, ultra-rich life surrounded by successful doctors, politicians and financiers. The book is appealing because Thandy, the January girl of the title, is a survivor.

But the book could be so much more! Author Taylor barely scratches the surface of things. The plot unfolds as a series of events: first this happened, then this happened ... We don't get into how the characters feel about what is happening to them. What are they thinking? Instead of giving us lots of little stories - we don't need to know so much about Yvetta and Mr. Fields or Doogie and his woes - we need to understand this drama in terms of how it impacts Thandy.

We need more information about the men in her life and how they affected her. We need to have much more on Etienne, Montana and Angela. All are changed by the events of the story, we are told about their pain, but we don't have enough material to feel where they came from and how their growth and change comes about. I think what I'm missing most is the passion. The story feels authentic, but the author hasn't given us what's in her characters' hearts, what's under their skin, what makes them tick. They haven't come vividly alive on the page.

What I hope for is that this book will be revised. There is every chance it could be a great book. Readers, do you agree with me? How about it, Ms. Taylor?

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