I felt the tension between Bet and Jack, the main characters in Sarah Butler’s book Jack & Bet, right from the beginning. I am not sure Jack noticed it, but I could feel it coming from Bet in her actions and her snippy comments.
It’s apparent that Jack loves his wife of 70 years. He is always thinking about her – what she needs and what she loves. It is because he knows she loves having her picture taken that she asks Marinela, a young Romanian woman, to come to their anniversary party to take his wife’s picture. This starts a beautiful friendship, mainly between Bet and Marinela, but also between Jack and the young woman, who is trying to make her way.
Jack also plays the peacemaker between Bet and their adult son, Tommy.
I am not a fan of Tommy, who seems to be into his parents’ business, telling them what to do and insisting they move into a retirement home where they will be looked after. I know he is doing it out of love, but I am also not a believer of treating your parents like children. Just because they are old, doesn’t mean they are incapable of making decisions.
But Bet has a way to keep her son happy, while retaining her independence and it involves Marinela.
“But this means revisiting an old love affair and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.”
The book was a fast read, I finished it in a couple of days, with great characters that are completely believable. The story is a nice one, but also sad, and shows the importance of honesty and telling people their importance to you as often as your can.
Jack & Bet retails for $19.99 and is from PGC Books. It comes out in March.
A copy of Jack & Bet is courtesy of PGC Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.