Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

Everything’s Coming Up Josey

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By Susan May Warrenjosey
They’re everywhere!
Read: November-December 2006
Rating: Surprisingly Enjoyable (woah, 2 words!)

Again, school project, the same as Lambert’s Pride. I discovered that Harlequin has, in fact, been publishing evangelical Christian Chick Lit! Yes, Chick Lit! How’s that to make your head spin?

Josey has accepted Christ into her heart, but she has yet to find a man to do the same. She feels that she’s stuck in a rut, helping out in the small-town Minnesota hotel her family runs. A visiting preacher calls for voluntary missionaries, and the idea lodges in her brain. She wants to be a missionary. She wants to go to–RUSSIA!

If her conviction sounds iffy to you, you’re not alone.

See, here’s the thing about Ms. Josey. Though her first person narrative is quite witty and sharp, her actions are… lacking. She is drawn to this whole Russia thing as a way of shaking things up. Proving that she can do something good. …getting away from her sister’s newlywed bliss and having to watch her BFF Chase return to town and flirt with other girls. Those aren’t really the reasons I associate with “fundie missionary.” In fact, I think most missionaries would be insulted by her attitude.

The screening organizations asks her if she has a calling. She’s a bit perplexed by this initially, but manages to come up with some motivation in time. I was a bit unclear on that part.

Here’s the thing with Christian romances–the characters seem like they walked into 2006 from 30-some years ago. They’re just… not entirely with it. For instance, Ms. Josey doesn’t think to properly pack her toiletries. And she winds up with shampoo all over the contents of her suitcase. (Airplane, pressurization… kaboom!) She doesn’t take the missionary HQ seriously when they say she’ll have water and electricity… most of the time… in Moscow. Babe into the woods.

For all that she was something of a ditz, she was rather likable. As I said, funny and clever–with words, anyway. It’s an interesting look into what Russia is like now. I don’t think I’d really want to visit, but… yeah.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Very surprised. I read some 50 pages on my hour-long morning train ride when I first picked it up. It’s so good, I think I may recommend it to people.

Except for one thing, that proves Josey is… unspeakably dumb. She can’t figure out how to work her gas stove (It doesn’t light automatically. USE A MATCH.) , so she has to stick to foods that don’t need to be cooked. Like Nutella. Lovely, lovely Nutella. Alas, like Marmite, most Americans have no prior experience with Nutella. Eating Nutella the wrong way isn’t as bad as eating Marmite the wrong way (globs of Marmite will make you retch), but, well, it’s not that hard to figure out. Josey ate it straight out of the jar with spoon.

Every jar of nutella looks like this:


It has a picture of someone spreading the Nutella on a slice of bread with a knife. Even the Russian version, straight from shows this.

Oh, Josey, Josey, Josey… you comically stupid little twit. Someone get this poor woman some bread!


Written by Shen

December 8, 2006 at 9:12 pm

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