Pam of Babylon
Pam Smith is a Long Island housewife who spends her weekdays preparing for her husband Jack to return every weekend from the city. Their life is a perfect picture of Americana, a modern Norman Rockwell painting of success, comfort, and the love of family and friends. Then, on a Saturday that seems no different than any other, tragedy strikes and Pam faces the greatest challenge of her previously charmed life. A riveting plot, shocking twists, and almost unbearable tension mark Suzanne Jenkins' debut, a heart-wrenching examination of lives suddenly and irrevocably torn apart. On his routine weekend trip home, Jack has a heart attack on the train and Pam soon finds herself on a trip to identify his body. Theoretically, this should give her some form of closure, but instead it is the moment her life takes an unexpected trip down the rabbit hole of intrigue and past sins come shockingly to life. Pam must confront a series of revelations that unmask a life she realizes she only thought she knew, and the losses and disappointments she discovers give color and understanding to a man markedly different than he appeared. Uncovering secrets and betrayals far worse than her most vivid nightmare, Pam retreats to their meticulous Babylon beach house, the one refuge she has to put the pieces of her life together and move toward ultimate forgiveness.A fascinating, multiple point of view character study about confronting mistakes and omissions in life, Jenkins' novel demonstrates the devastating consequences of our actions and how they can reverberate through generations. But it is through forgiveness that Pam finds redemption and strength, eschewing the option of victimization for one of power and, ultimately, personal peace. Affecting in its fast pacing and spare, evocative prose, Pam of Babylon is a powerful reminder for us all to strive to be better people.
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Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite
In an extremely promising start to a series, Pam of Babylon, by author Suzanne Jenkins, the reader is introduced to quite an interesting scenario. When Pam's husband Jack dies suddenly from a massive heart attack, the secrets he's been keeping come to the surface. Finding that the husband she loved had not one, but two mistresses, comes as quite a shock and quite a blow. But in a story of healing, forgiveness and ultimately redemption, Pam comes to grip with the husband she thought she knew, the love she thought she had, and the reality of what had been kept hidden from her for so long.
I so enjoyed this book. Author Suzanne Jenkins has done a fantastic job at creating characters that the reader will truly relate to and care about. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. The storyline is easy to follow and well-paced. Pam of Babylon will keep you turning the pages from start to finish. In fact, the best piece of advice I have for any reader is to have enough time aside to read this entire book at once, because once you start it, you will not want to put it down. Any reader who enjoys chick lit, women's fiction, or just an enjoyable read will love this book. I recommend Pam of Babylon, and am very much looking forward to reading the next installment in author Suzanne Jenkins' series as soon as possible.