- Author ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray
- Release Date April 18, 2017
- Publisher Gallery Books
- ISBN/ASIN 9781476748887
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Jo
Billingsley and Murray are new-to-me authors. and I look forward to reading more of their books, especially the ones featuring Jasmine, Rachel, and their families. Murray lists some of the books starring Jasmine as part of THE JASMINE SERIES, but Billingsley does not show A BLESSING & A CURSE is connected to others. There were some blanks as I was reading that I realized take place in some of their earlier books, but for the most part enough background information was given that I could figure out what was going on.
Jasmine and Rachel are both preachers’ wives, (and Jasmine’s father and her father-in-law are preachers too.) The ladies aren’t like any preachers’ wives that I know though. They are irreverent, especially when they act more like frenemies! Jasmine doesn’t like to do what she doesn’t want to, even when her husband and father-in-law and even friend, Mae Frances, suggest otherwise. There’s a lot of yelling, unhappiness, sadness, grief, anger and praying on both their parts when Jasmine is scared of what she’s learned about her life. It impacts Rachel as well but she’s trying to do what’s best for others…mostly.
The story has twists and turns and is set in many different locales: New York, Florida, Texas and Alabama. The descriptions made me feel like I was there. There are some laugh-out-loud moments and some teary ones too. The cast of characters are an interesting lot, especially when Rachel’s family has their reunion in Smackover, Alabama. The characters of Jasmine, Rachel, and Jasmine’s sister, Simone, all have a depth to them that I learned about a little at a time. Mae Frances is a hoot in her dispensing of knowledge and facts about her own life that I took with a grain of salt. There was some closure and the potential for some happiness in the future with the epilogue, with enough loose ends to have these characters meet up again in future books. I enjoyed the book from the first page to the last and would recommend it to others.