Maggie Montgomery loves candy and adventure, fears water and
commitment, and hates the idea of returning to her small hometown
of Ivy, Texas. It is a place of broken relationships and painful
memories, the epicenter of an unending cycle of nightmares.
However, when she receives a surprisingly desperate call from her
estranged father, Maggie finds herself Texas-bound. She takes a
small comfort in knowing it is only for a few days, but those few
days soon turns into a few weeks. It appears that God has a plan
for Maggie, one that encompasses not only her fears and nightmares
but also her hopes and dreams that have long remained hidden behind
sturdy walls. He may just have to drag her into it kicking and
For all the world, Maggie has her act together. Sassy and outgoing,
she speaks her mind and is up for a thrill-seeking adventure any
hour of the night or day, as long as it involves dry land and a
package of SweeTarts. Her job as a cinematographer for a cable
travel channel takes her to all corners of the earth. And from her
tapes come shows depicting beautiful vacation settings chock-full
of golden sunsets, shimmering waterfalls and majestic mountains.
But looking through that same lens, Maggie sees a very different
world. Children forced to be soldiers, slaves and prostitutes,
children starving, begging and dying from lack of
medication…images that reach through her lens and grab her
heart. But her dream of sharing this side of life with the rest of
the world is repeatedly crushed as network after network rejects
her documentary. Her last chance may be the interview with National
Geographic coming up in a few weeks.
Just back from France and days away from heading to another
location, Maggie is on a dinner date when she’s interrupted
by a phone call from her father, who she has not seen in five
years. There is an air of desperation in his voice that Maggie has
never heard as he asks her to come home. Maggie returns to Ivy only
to face an assortment of challenging relationships: The father she
could never please; her schizophrenic sister, Allison, who hates
her; Connor, the nerd-turned-hunky veterinarian she tormented in
high school; and the best friend she left behind.
And then there’s Riley, Allison’s 10-year-old daughter.
Mischievous, sassy and far too old for her years, Riley appears to
be an uncontrollable brat. Maggie soon discovers, however, that
Riley has been living a nightmare with Allison, who not only has
mental issues but also has exacerbated her state with years of
consuming street drugs and alcohol. Riley is often abandoned for
days at a time. Allison’s random pattern of overdoses, failed
attempts at detox and hook-ups with unscrupulous men have made
their mark on Riley. Now Allison has disappeared, and
Maggie’s father fears Riley will end up in foster care if he
can’t get help raising her.
Maggie’s job has sent her trudging through swamps, climbing
mountains and foraging through creature-filled rainforests, but she
has never faced anything as scary as Riley or the fluttering of her
heart when she’s near Connor. Why has God put these two
people in her path? What kind of faith does it take to trust God
when His plan seems all wrong?
Author Jenny B. Jones has a rare gift for dialogue, establishing
relationships, giving voice to her characters, and, let’s be
honest, creating the perfect man. Who wouldn’t fall in love
with a smart, witty, hot veterinarian? This is the kind of book you
read until your eyes blur, then you splash them with cold water and
read some more. Funny, touching and passionate, JUST BETWEEN YOU
AND ME is the kind of book that you wish wouldn’t end.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on November 13, 2011