This is an interesting character story; there are two main characters Jem (the title character) and Devon. Additional there are (basically) four secondary ones in Devon’s son, her ex, and her two neighbors.
The story has its setup in the past (so you have the foundation) when Jem and Devon are young. The friendship is as solid as can be (when kids are kids) but at the hands of parental abuse (of Jem) it becomes complex. The story then brings you to “the present”.
Jem is employed but sort of stalled in his life (basically set in his routine, such as it is) and Devon has recently relocated (to the same area where Jem now lives) with her small child in tow.
During a chance meeting, Jem recognizes Devon but she does not recognize him, despite the fact that she remembers fondly and regularly the little boy that meant so much to her from when she was young.
As with all “grown up” things, life gets in the way – Jem’s aggressiveness, a misunderstanding, Jem’s distrust with his emotions and feelings, Devon’s mistrust of men, the ex coming back into the picture, and other things, all hamper the situation.
Will they be able to bridge the gap that time and situation have brought or is it too little, too late?
I really liked the premise of the story and the author’s style; it allowed for POV changing (and it was easy to follow) and she gave you enough narrative details to set a stage but in a manner that allowed your own imagination to fill in the blanks the way your own mind sees fit (big plus for me).
Overall, a very solid “recommend” for anyone that enjoys a “people” story and one where peoples’ demons must be defeated in order for them to continue on as individuals, with, or without, the people that matter the most to them in their lives.
I recommend “Jem” by Michelle Abbott
* * * * Four Stars (out of five)
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