Jubilee’s Journey (Wyattsville #2)

  • Jubilee'sJourneyAuthor: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: October 2013 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Historical Fiction
  • four-half-stars

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, Book Two in the Wyattsville Series, is the story of discovering lost family and finding love that reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the other heart-warming characters of SPARE CHANGE.

Forced by circumstances beyond his control, Bartholomew Jones made a decision he’d sworn never to make. He and his wife, Ruth moved to Coal Fork, West Virginia and he took a job as a miner following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. In the following years Ruth bore two children, Paul and Jubilee. When tragedy strikes and the children lose both their parents within the space of a few years, Paul and little Jubilee travel to Wyattsville to find the only family they have left, their mother’s estranged sister.

Paul and Jubilee boarded the Greyhound bus at the Campbell’s Creek Depot. He had a ticket; she didn’t. When he’d asked the clerk at the window how much for two tickets to Wyattsville, Virginia, she’d answered, “Eight dollars and fifty cents.” While Paul stood there counting out the quarters and dimes, the woman peered over the counter at Jubilee. “Make that four-twenty-five,” she said. “There’s no charge for kids under five.”

”Oh, Jubie just looks small,” Paul started to say, ‘but-“

”Maybe you don’t hear so good.” The ticket clerk cocked an eyebrow and looked Paul square in the face. “I said we don’t charge for kids under five,” she repeated, then cranked out a single ticket and handed it to him.

The trip doesn’t quite go to plan and Paul, in the wrong place at the wrong time, ends up in hospital while Jubilee is befriended by Ethan Allen and taken home to Grandma Olivia’s house. It’s good to reconnect with Olivia, Ethan and soft-hearted Detective Jack Mahoney, along with the rest of the characters from Spare Change and catch up with their lives. The new friendship between Ethan and Jubilee is touching, showing the extent of Ethan’s character development since we first met him in Spare Change.

Jubilee’s Journey is an emotive story told with warmth and poignancy. The characters are, mostly, charming and real with relatable characteristics, including a mix of good and not so good traits, and the sense of community in Wyattsville shines out. The story encompasses a range of emotions, sadness, love, kindness and hope and is told from different viewpoints which helps to show the best and sometimes the worst of human nature.

The passages with the first person perspective of a particular character’s thoughts helps to give more of an insight into the depths of their personalities, flaws and strengths. I even found myself feeling (just a little) sorry for Hurt.

Paul and Jubilee have been through a lot but they are strong, kindhearted and very likeable. Ms Crosby has a talent for creating characters you can’t help but empathise with and be drawn into their lives. And even when these same characters misjudge a situation or person, as does happen, they are able to admit when they are wrong. Even though at times it doesn’t appear to be a feel good book, with adversity and misfortune, the conclusion is very satisfactory and the end result is a captivating story of the most important things in life.

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