Thursday, 27 September 2012

Book Review Thursday: Distraction by J.L. Campbell

Distraction by J.L. Campbell                                  
Genre: Fiction
Publishing Date: June 25, 2012
First Heard Of: Through Author's Blog and Amazon
Purchase: Amazon
Source: E-Copy from Author
Preview: If you want to know the three women from Distraction before the novel. Please buy acopy of A Baker's Dozen: 13 Steps to Distraction. I bought this ebook before getting Distraction and have no regrets. It's a very good read.

Note: Sorry about the error that had this posted with just the image and and title on Thursday. It has now been corrected.

Summary from Amazon: Three Jamaican women walk a tightrope of decisions when their lives are derailed by blackmail, deceit and infidelity. JUSTINE CHARLES, sensible and self-contained, battles an addiction which could destroy her marriage, reputation, and relationship with her daughter. DIONNE JONES, an aggressive go-getter, takes risks that cut a trail of devastation through her family and business. KYRA MILLS, struggling single mother, is crippled by debt, bad judgment and destructive choices. Can two of the long-time friends survive startling revelations involving their partners? And will the other push her obsession to the point of danger?

When J.L. Campbell sent me a an e-copy of Distraction I was so excited. Not only had I finally found a local author blogger but I also got a free copy of her novel. J.L. Campbell is the author of books like Contraband, Dissolution and several more. Distraction follows three females who are close friends and have to navigate life in Jamaica while married or in relationships. Readers meet Justine, Dionne and Kyra and the novel lets us see life through both their own perspectives as well as how they view each other. The title is symbolic as to what leads them astray. Each woman has something in their life that shouldn't be there. But the pleasures and immediate gratification cloud their minds or conscience to the later consequences.

Distraction lets readers have a front seat in seeing how abuse, deceit, hate, love, friendship and forgiveness can make or break relationships and marraiges. And people as well. No one is totally innocent and each character whether major or minor is far from perfect. We all have our faults and Distraction doesn't shield us from seeing this in the three women or if we read it even deeper, ourselves.

My personal experience with Distraction was very enlightening. One character that bothered me was Xavier. His affair with one of the women irked me in that he seemed so willing to pull her back in when she tried to stop it. But as I read I got to thinking, if her husband has so many issues and she's willing to stand by him. What the heck is Xavier's wife like? That thought actually scared me a bit since Xavier described her pretty much as being indifferent. But I've heard many times that the big enemy of marriage is not hate but indifference. So maybe that's why he was more willing to sacrifice his marriage. Another character that irked me was Dionne. Her ambition seemed to me to be to the point of greed. Out of the three she seemed to have the best partner out of the lot from the start. But she was angry at his lack of ambition and being too slow to meet her demands. That seemed to me a petty reason for some of what she did. Though I could understand her need to expand and upkeep her business. Also I liked her independence and 'don't give up attitude.' The character I loved most was Justine. She really tries to do the right thing, loves her daughter wholeheartedly and does her best to get along with her husband. But a few things he did...let's just say they fall in the 'no sar' and two go in, one comes out category, for me. Translation: No way I'm staying and high chance of committing murder (but that is just my opinion). Yet Justine really tries to keep everything together and doesn't come off as naive as she does a loving wife willing to work hard to keep her marriage together. I also had a soft spot for Kyra who started as a single woman with a teenage son and a bad on and off relationship with Warren. She goes through trial and error to get things right and with the help of her friends a few other influences takes initiative to turn her life around. Is she successful? You have to read Distraction to find out. I recommend this read to adults, especially women. Because no matter where we're from. Most of our issues are universal and Distraction moves masterfully though that universe.

Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)


  1. Let me know when you're done reading it. It looks good.

  2. Sheena,

    Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I was particularly interested in having another Jamaican, and a writer, read the novel.

    Your questions about Xavier will be revealed in the sequel, Retribution.

    1. I can not find retribution anywhere nonlinear. Please help.


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