Book Review: Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It

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by J.D. Mason

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Publication Date: Mar 16, 2010
List Price: Unavailable
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9780312598563
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers
Parent Company: Holtzbrinck Publishing Group

Read a Description of Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It

Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah

Will The Truth Set Them Free?

In my humble opinion, J.D. Mason is a master storyteller, as they say. From the very first novel, And on the Eighth Day She Rested, this author has consistently turned out one great read after another. Each storyline has been different, appealing to a broad audience of readers. Her latest release,Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It is a story about women and the power of sisterhood. It is also about secrets, regrets and doing what one has to do, just to survive.

Tasha Darden is a young woman who was abandoned at birth and grew up in the foster care system. Fortunately, she has been able to carve out a pretty successful life for herself. Now thirty years later; she has found the courage to search for her birth mother, the woman who left her inside a duffel bag in a hospital emergency room. She was less than a day old.

Three middle-aged women who were best friends in high school know the answers to the questions that Tasha needs to ask about who she is and why she was left to fend for herself on that fateful evening. She is determined to find them no matter the consequences. Her only lead is a tattered news clipping that her foster mother gave to her before her death. In this news article, there is a cloudy photo taken by the hospital's security camera of the trio of teenage girls who had presumably left her there. They never were identified and they never came forward with any information about the abandoned baby girl. No one pursued the case and as a child, Tasha learned not to make waves or cause any problems for her foster mother. She worked hard at being a "good girl". She learned how to survive.

Over the years, the women drifted apart probably based on the shared secret that they had kept. Was one of them the baby's mother and if so, which one? Each one of them moved on in their separate lives, now with their own stories to tell. Thirty years later, they run into one another at their high school reunion and the memories of that night come back to each of them as if it were just yesterday. The circumstances of this period in their lives threaten to reveal their secrets. Each of them has so much to lose.

What I have always enjoyed about Mason's work is the way she develops characters that are both well defined and believable. Her stories are rich with emotion. Her descriptive portraits of these women takes the reader right inside the hearts and minds of Renetta, Phyllis and Freddie.  I was easily able to get lost inside the diverse personalities of the characters as the story unfolded.

As the novel progresses, Tasha becomes increasingly consumed by finding these women and finding the truth. She also is surprised to discover that she wants revenge for the many years she suffered as a lost little girl with no identity. The author keeps the drama on the cutting edge as the women struggle with the choices that they made so long ago, choices that have come back to haunt them. Neither one of them wants to betray their lifelong bond of sisterhood. Yet; they know within themselves that the truth can not be hidden forever.

In her previous novels, J. D. Mason's characters have been tormented, dark souls, some who have performed some dastardly deeds and actions. This storyline has a lighter tone. However; the harsh realities of carrying such a dark secret weighs heavily on these characters and I was anxious to see how it would all play out. It held my attention throughout and as the author tied together all the loose ends, the saga flowed into a perfect ending. Tasha finds what she was searching for and Renetta, Phyllis and Freddie learn a valuable lesson about life. Readers of women's fiction will enjoy this book.

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