Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I checked this out on audiobook and my sister and I listened to it in the car. It was a fun read. I liked that one of the narrators was male and the other was female. They alternated the parts of Allie and Luke and it was a nice touch. The male narrator sounded a bit noir, but it suits Luke being an investigator of sorts. The female narrator makes Allie sound as adorable as she is. I pictured Allie as Claire Bowen, who plays Scarlett on "Nashville."
For Luke, I pictured a younger Luke Wilson
I loved the small town, Texas atmosphere. All of the characters are quirky. They are all hanging on to life on the edge of Jefferson's Crossing, near the lake that was made when Jefferson's ancestors dammed up Twisted Creek. Allie is a very sweet young woman. Her devotion to her grandmother made me smile. Nana raised her when Allie's self-centered, good for nothing mother ran off. When Allie's grandfather died, Nana lost their farm and Allie had to leave school to help take care of Nana.
I liked this viewpoint of their relationship. It's not typical to think of a young woman who is living with and supporting and caring for an aged relative, but I'm sure it happens more than one would believe. Allie has a lot of burdens on her young shoulders, but you never get the impression she wants to get rid of that burden of caring for her grandmother, but does it willingly.
I liked the rag-tag band of Nesters (as the objectionable sheriff) refers to them. Each of them has been hurt by life, or merely decided to drop out and hang out in the fringes. When Allie and Nana arrive at Jefferson's Crossing, they establish a found family of these misfits, one that effects change for everyone in a good way.
Luke was one heck of a guy. Thomas writes Texan heroes that make me wish I met guys like that in real life living in Texas. Luke is definitely a keeper. Even though he seems like a slacker, he has some very strong reasons for being on the lake. He and Allie have great chemistry that is a good underpinning for this book, but the relationships between all the characters could actually stand on its own. I loved how he connects to Nana almost immediately and they form a strong relationship.
I adore Jodi Thomas's books. They are satisfying reads with characters that feel real and are quirky and textured. She is a great romance writer, but one of her best skills as a writer is characterization. Her larger-than-life characters come out of the page and make friends with the reader.
I have a print version of this, but I'm really glad I got the audiobook. I do have to say that the Southern accent made the narrative a bit slower than I wanted at times, since I read much faster than the narrator speaks. However, that was true to the characters.
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