The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 11, 2016)
A fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story and gods in Alabama—an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives
Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern oral tradition to reinvent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birth name, Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own—one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. With the two of them separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.
These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that karmic debt—until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a mystifying note: “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.”
Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it’s too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together—her own.
The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.
Wow! Each time I read a Jackson book I love her writing more. The addition of Hindu mythology was interesting and at first I wondered how it would fit into the story, but it did.
I love that Kai was a hippy chick. I was a teen in the 70’s. I loved that era and am a bit of a hippy chick myself. I loved the authors way of pulling you into the lives of the characters and making you care about them. Or not. I love that she writes with a southern style.
Books about mother/daughter relationships are at the top of my favorite themes, and this book is one of the best I’ve read. There’s the bond of mother and daughter, how that bond can be broken and repaired, betrayal, loss, surprises, overcoming what life throws at you, and twists I didn’t see coming.
If you haven’t read this book, or the other Jackson books, you should.