I am glad that I had the opportunity to read Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers and think it is as interesting as her award-winning novel, The Final Salute.
One would consider Johnnie Kitchen a fortunate woman for marrying Dale, a good-looking, devoted husband, and raising three lovely children. She cherishes her family but feels her life's accomplishments are inadequate and yearns to complete her college education. Johnnie overcame bulimia that plagued her while growing up, but still has the occasional urge to succumb to it. She realizes that part of her problems link to her past, because she never knew whom her father was, and wonders why her mother abandoned her when she was little. Why was she named after an uncle who died tragically?
Johnnie releases her woes in a journal by writing letters to the living and deceased associated with her life. When her son Cabe talks about his personal struggles, Johnnie becomes glum and confesses a secret that damages her relationship with Dale and the children. Her life appears to be spinning out of control and Johnnie just wants to puke.
She wants to make things right, but only the unanswered questions of the past can resolve the unhappiness she now experiences. Meeting the new neighbour who constantly relives events in his past and hearing of a young soldier's injuries make her see things in another perspective. Although ailing Granny Opal has the answers, she refuses to tell Johnnie the truth that could set her free from the poignant anguish that has festered within her for so long.
Kathleen M. Rodgers' novel portrays normal people with concerns that readers can compare to their own. This is an intense, emotional drama with well-defined characters, who face their issues with different strengths and moods. Johnnie always seemed happy but her burdens were too heavy to carry alone. The author also brings to light how bulimia affects persons physically and mentally, and how it can remain untreated or undetected. Her charming writing style puts one at ease and Johnnie Come Lately is a novel I recommend reading.