by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Wyattsville #2
Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid? Jubilee’s Journey is Book Two in the Wyattsville Series. This story of discovering lost family and finding love reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the other heart-warming characters of the bestselling novel SPARE CHANGE.
In 2012, I read Betty Lee Crosby’s novel Spare Change and absolutely fell in love with the characters in the small town of Wyattsville. I enjoyed it so much I gifted it to friends and family that Christmas. At the time, the book was standalone, but Betty told me that, Jubilee’s Journey, came to her and I am delighted that it did. In Jubilee’s Journey, I was once again transported back to the apartment complex and reconnected with Ethan Allen and Grandma Olivia.
Mini-review: Touching, engaging and heart-warming. The characters spring to life and wrap themselves around your heart.
Told from multiple POV’s we begin our tale with the Jones’, a Virginia mining family. We learn about the parent’s courtship and the births of Paul and Jubilee. It is a hard life, but we quickly become attached. When tragedy strikes and the children are forced to leave the mining town, young Paul takes his sister to Wyattsville in search of their estranged aunt. Paul spies a “For Hire” sign in the local market and asks seven-year-old Jubilee to wait on a bench directly across the street. He pulls down the sign and enters. At that moment, their lives will be forever altered, as will Olivia and Ethan Allen’s. The tale that unfolds is full of tragedy, warmth, and lessons. Jubilee’s Journey is a beautiful tale of love, innocents, hope, and community.
Crosby has an unbelievable gift for creating fleshed out, unique and lovable characters. She draws you in exposing their quirks, flaws, gifts and very soul. Olivia referred to as Grandma by Ethan Allen had her life altered when Ethan Allen entered her uncomplicated life. When Jubilee makes an entrance she becomes a fierce mama bear and sets out to help this adorable child. Ethan Allen is rough around the edges, skips school and causes his Grandma grief but underneath it all, he is the sweetest young man and it was wonderful seeing him again. Old characters and friends from the apartment complex make a return and all step up to help. Aunt Anita seemed harsh, but even her tale was fleshed out and had me connecting with her. A young man named Hurt is introduced and I both loathed him and wanted to hold him. Crosby fleshed out even the secondary characters weaving them into the tale and our hearts.
Jubilee’s Journey blends several genres together making it a captivating read. It is a tale of growth, hope and inspiration, with a mystery weaved into it as people in Wyattsville move to help this young child and her brother. Set in 1956, Crosby captured the era and transported us back to a simpler time. It reflects on the rush to judgment, forgiveness and most of all love. The multiple perspectives made the tale engaging. We got inside Olivia’s head and experienced her fears, concerns, hope, and love. We also get into Jack Mahoney’s head an officer who goes the extra mile as he works to help Jubilee and her brother. His detective work was fascinating and reminded me of those old dime store PI books. Other character’s share their perspectives, added warmth and furthering the tale. This was such an easy read; I was drawn in from the first page and held captive to the end. It makes you believe in the power of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers.
Jubilee’s Journey is a heart-warming tale and one that stays with you. It was a welcome addition to the Wyattsville series. I love Crosby’s voice and have never been disappointed in her stories. I look forward to her next novel.
Such a great, in depth review! I wasn’t aware that this took place in West Virginia, which is where I live, so that makes it all that more exciting for me!
Thanks for sharing!
thanks Andrea, I adore this author and her characters.
I love this style of story. Can’t wait to read it.
so do I, enjoy Laurie 🙂
the eyes of the girl on the cover makes me just want to read her story now
She is a cute character too!
the face of the little girl is eye catcher and then the info sound like i get in to the the books
Thanks Desiree, I hope you get a chance to read this one 🙂
Sharon - Obsession with Books
That little girl on the cover is beautiful! I do enjoy small town mysteries and the characters in this sound wonderfully fleshed out and realistic.
A great review Kimba! 🙂
thanks Sharon, Crosby’s stories always draw me in 🙂
This sounds like a lovely story. I love mysteries that are not just mysteries but encompass other genres as well. I also like stories that have multiple generations involved. Lovely review.
I have really enjoyed this authors works Pamela 🙂
I was drawn in by the characters…they sound so real. And the time period is one to which I can relate. Thanks for sharing.
I love the characters she brings to life, thanks Laurel!
I love touching stories with strong characters ensembles and small towns with charm. Sounds like I need to add Spare Change and Jubilee’s Journey to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing your lovely review!
thanks Lauren, these are great tales with a little mystery and a whole lot of heart.
Wow! That sounds really good. I’ll check it out when I have the time. 😉
Enjoy and thanks for commenting 🙂
This small town mystery appeals to me because I grew up in West Virginia, and now love reading any books that tells stories about it. Thanks for having the giveaway.
You are very welcome Anita, I hope you get a chance to read it 🙂
Oh this sounds like an emotional one! And stories involving children that has tragedies or anything sad always gets to me bc I always put myself in the family’s shoes. Especially when it’s so realistically character driven like this one sounds to be! very heartfelt review, chick!
This was realistic, but was very feel good in nature. Have a lovely weekend Giselle 🙂
Yes, I love emotional and heart-warming. This book does sound like me.
Yes, you need to read this author, I think you would connect.
Melissa (Books and Things)
I think I usually avoid books like this because I’m so worried that it will end up making me cry. 🙁 Still, I love the sound of the writing. I may have to check out this author!
Hmm, I may have gotten misty eyed, but it was that happy kind of misty.
Dunno about this one, it does not scream me
It is very realistic, thanks sweetie, enjoy your snow!
I love how much you appreciate this and the previous book. Thank you for such a thoughtful review!
thanks Andrea 🙂
I liked Spare Change, but the violence was a bit dark in it. Bette assured me that this one doesn’t have the violence. I did so love Ethan and his adopted Grandma, and I would be interested to learn more about his story.
I loved both of these stories and I think the fact that they are so realistic can make parts darker. This one is lighter.
Braine Talk Supe
I always compare the past to the present and in less than a hundred years we’ve come a long way from how they were in the 50’s or even the 80’s! Gosh I feel old! Anyway, I love books like this, it not only makes me feel but it makes me think as well.
thanks Braine, and just the difference from my childhood to now blows my mind.
Ithink it might be the characters of Wyattsville that you write about with such affection. They sound like an interesting group to me. Thanks
thanks Carl, happy Friday 🙂
I love realistic characters and it seems to me they’re as realistic as they can be here 🙂 Also I love the whole idea of small place and everything. It seems like a great read and I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Great review.
thanks Tanja, I love the realistic feel too.
Kimba, great review and you’ve made me want to read it.
Now I’m off to read your interview
you’re (in)famous 😉
thanks Debbie, I adore this author 🙂
I love the books that just stay with long after you close it. I’m so happy that you loved this so much.
I agree Jenea 🙂
Sounds like an uplifting read for this time of year Kim! The little girl on the cover is absolutely darling, I just want to scoop her up and hug her. Definitely need to check this author out, I always find new and interesting things on your blog, LOVE IT!
thanks Jenny and I agree she is adorable, so glad I get to introduce you to new reads 🙂
I am so glad you loved this Kim and that the author gave you another great read. I love small town settings whether in a love story or a murder mystery, there is just something wonderful about them.
Thanks Ali, and I agree about small towns
Look at the big eyes on that kid! Wow. Piercing. I usually like when they blend genres to create a fantastic story.
I have really enjoyed these, thanks Mary and the model is such a cutie.
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I’m glad that you could connect to the characters in this one well as they were so realistically drawn.
Fab review, Kimba! <33
Thanks Melanie, happy weekend!
That child on the cover is so cute. I am happy this was such a good one for you. I never read books like this but I am intrigued now.
I love these realistic, character driven tales every now and again. Thanks Jennifer 🙂