Jenny of Lebanon

Author: Gabrielle Olexa

Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Type: Novelette

Summary: All’s quiet at 318 White Ash Lane—which is good. Billy could use some quiet. But fate has another plan. That plan’s name is Jenny, and she wears a purple bikini. 

Why I liked it: it is a poignant read about the kind of romantic love that defines a person’s life. Not a romance or a drama, but the slow baring of the two characters’ feelings through their dysfunctional interaction.

And now for the chatty part!

The most striking thing about this little gem is the vivid imagery that is used to evoke emotional reactions inside the reader. The author leads you on a journey from the front lawn, where a cat’s attempts to capture a bird are thwarted by a flung set of keys, to the interior of the house, shabby and neglected, to the kitchen and the light bulb and the peculiar contents of the freezer. All of these pictures act as symbols and precursors of the mental and emotional states of the characters.

The language is literary, and it you are a fan of fast-paced action and concise descriptions, then maybe this is not for you. It is also not a romance. This story doesn’t happen in a world where things are black and white. I felt for the characters, but I wasn’t sure if I liked or disliked them or if I felt sorry for one of them, both of them, or if they deserved their fate. Their existence in shades of grey, like all the rest of us, made them relatable and interesting at the same time.

Jenny of Lebanon is a quick afternoon read, and a really enjoyable one at that! It is romantic, poignant, and leaves you with a sense of mellow bitterness… and yes, maybe a little bit of hope too!

Grammar, syntax, style: pretty much perfect. A job very well done!

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