If Jack’s In Love
By Stephen Wetta
Completed September 21, 2011
Jack Witcher’s family is the black sheep of the neighborhood – poor, living in a tattered house with a lazy father, overwhelmed mother and hellraising brother. In If Jack’s In Love, Jack narrates this coming of age tale where we learn about his evolution from a Witcher boy to a young man with a mind of his own.
Jack is in love with Myra Joiner – a girl from the other side of the track (the right side, per se), whose brother, Gaylord, disappears one August night. The Joiner family smells foul play, and immediately Jack’s older brother, Stan, is a suspect. Stan and Gaylord have a history of not getting along, and with Stan’s quick temper, Jack’s not sure if his brother didn’t kill Gaylord. What he does know is that he loves Myra, despite the tragedies that have affected both families.
If Jack’s in Love is the debut effort by Stephen Wetta, and unfortunately, I think Wetta’s rookiness as a writer showed through. The pacing of the novel was a bit off, and I think the story would have been strengthened by dual narrators – Jack and his mother. Jack’s mom was an interesting character – a woman who married the wrong guy and whose life didn’t end up like she hoped. She would have added the right blend to this tale of family loyalty.
If you like coming of age tales, If Jack’s in Love is one to add to your wish list. Jack’s narrative was enough to carry the book through, despite some writing flaws. The ending wrapped everything up, and I was glad Jack’s story resolved because he’s a kid most readers can root for. I know I did. ( )
FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review on my blog.