: Book Review – The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke, (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

cover88521-mediumPub Date 30 Aug 2016
Simon & Schuster
The Jealous Kind
by James Lee Burke
Literary Fiction


From New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke—an atmospheric, coming-of-age story set in 1952 Texas, as the Korea War rages.
On its surface, life in Houston is as you would expect: drive-in restaurants, souped-up cars, jukeboxes, teenagers discovering their sexuality. But beneath the glitz and superficial normalcy, a class war has begun, and it is nothing like the conventional portrayal of the decade. Against this backdrop Aaron Holland Broussard discovers the poignancy of first love and a world of violence he did not know existed.
When Aaron spots the beautiful and gifted Valerie Epstein fighting with her boyfriend, Grady Harrelson, at a Galveston drive-in, he inadvertently challenges the power of the Mob and one of the richest families in Texas. He also discovers he must find the courage his father had found as an American soldier in the Great War.
Written in evocative prose, The Jealous Kind may prove to be James Lee Burke’s most encompassing work yet. As Aaron undergoes his harrowing evolution from boy to man, we can’t help but recall the inspirational and curative power of first love and how far we would go to protect it.

There was a time in my life when I woke every morning with fear and anxiety and did not know why. For me fear was a given I factored in to the events of the day, like a pebble that never leaves your shoe. In retrospect, an adult might call that a form of courage. If so, it wasn’t much fun.

James Lee Burke is back! With a new terrific novel, that completes a trilogy with Wayfaring Stranger and Rising Sun. Soon, very soon, The Jealous Kind will be realesed on 30th August. James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors and The Jealous Kind  is my first Burke novel read in the original language, so forgive me if the comprehension is not quite complete. However  I pretty much loved this book and I gladly speak about it . The Jealous Kind is set in 1952 Houston Texas, as the Korea War rages, exactly in the years in which Burke was an adolescent, so many parts are probably autobiographical and this give surely veridicity at the setting and atmosphere.  It’s the story of a boy of 17 years old, Aaron Holland Broussard, that became man in a world of violence and evil. But his first love will be for him a light on the road, a reason to survive. Crepuscular and romantic, this novel has a bitter background linked to a sort of nostalgia for those postwar years, and for the past youth, and this certainly give depth and thickness to the plot. Perhaps his best novel, certainly the most compelling.

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of more than thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as Light of the WorldCreole Belle, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Missoula, Montana.


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