The Jealous Kind

 The Jealous Kind

by James Lee Burke

Review by Susan Williams

If you have never read James Lee Burke’s books, you are missing some truly great writing. Burke’s writing is lyrical and his descriptions are pure magic. Burke has won two Edgar awards and numerous other recognitions for his prose. Stephen King said he reads Burke because he is a “gorgeous prose stylist”.

Burke’s newest novel is a coming-of-age story set in Texas in mid twentieth century, with all the accouterments of that time: slicked-back hair, jukeboxes, souped up jalopies, and drive-in movies. Aaron Holland Broussard’s 17 year old life takes a right turn one evening as he saves a beautiful young girl from her boyfriend’s aggressiveness and thus becomes her hero, and boyfriend, as well. This move, of course, angers her former rich country-club boyfriend and sets the stage for a tale of revenge, teenage pranks and eventually a Mafia hit-man as Aaron becomes unwittingly embroiled in a class war.

All the while, Burke seamlessly weaves his tale, full of eloquent prose and evokes our memories of first loves and growing up.

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About the reviewer: Circulation Staff member Susan Williams enjoys spending her free time with her children & grandchildren. She also enjoys reading (of course!)