Thursday, July 03, 2014

Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs

Sometimes, even a person who reads as much as I do can't find exactly the right thing. That's an unsettling feeling until I can find a book that catches me up again, and I'm able to sink it another world. Holly Jacobs' Just One Thing is a story that urges the reader on, demanding attention so we can find out just one more thing about Lexie McCain. And, Lexie's story might break your heart, but it's also encouraging at the same time.

Every Monday night, Lexie McCain leaves her artist's studio behind and walks to The Corner Bar. Only on Monday night. It's her one excuse to see people instead of isolating herself as she works on a tapestry. And, she orders a Killian's. And, Sam the bartender says to her, "Just one thing." Lexie was coming to the bar for four months before he said that. She told him simple things about herself; her name, that she liked crafts. And, then she told him she married her husband when she was twenty.

As Sam's question forces Lexie to reveal her story, it forces her to confront her own feelings, her anger, her sense of loss, her lack of hope. "God and I weren't on speaking terms" because of the tragedies in her life. But, there was joy in her life as well, and, sometimes "Just one thing" brought recognition. Why did she have an Irish wolfhound? "There were a lot of empty spaces in my life and I figured it took a very large dog to start to fill all those voids." And, one day, Lexie turned it around, and said to Sam, "Just one thing."

I'm not going to tell you the stories Lexie and Sam told. Holly Jacobs peels by the layers of their stories and their lives one question at a time. But, each question and each answer reveals more as they tell of their tragedies, and ultimately, of their resolve to set one foot ahead of each other, and move on. Read the author's note at the end of the book. It's a little about writing, and a lot about messages.

I'd recommend Holly Jacobs' Just One Thing to Nicholas Sparks fans. It's about loss and tragedy and anger. But, it's also a story of deep love, and trust, memories, a romance, and a story of family. It's charming and bittersweet.  It's a story of the courage sometimes needed just to move on with life, to keep going. Sometimes, it takes just one person, one memory, or Just One Thing.

Holly Jacobs' website is

Just One Things by Holly Jacobs. Montlake. 2014. ISBN 9781477820070 (paperback), 182p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Kaye Barley said...

oh, my. How have I missed hearing about this one? adding this one to my list, for sure (along with a box of tissue).

Lesa said...

It's a little different, Kaye. I know you'll like it! You and I like so many of the same books.

Kait Brown said...

It's interesting to me that I stumbled upon this review while googling "Just One Thing". I'm currently reading it and just wanted to see what folks were saying about it. Then I noticed your picture at the top of the page and where you are currently residing. My father is from Evansville/Newburgh, Indiana. Howdy! :)

Lesa said...

Hi Kait!

Thanks for stopping by, and making a comment that your father is from here. If you think of it, come back and let me know what you thought of "Just One Thing". I'l be interested to see what you thought.

Kait said...

I just finished "Just One Thing". I really, truly loved it. I didn't expect to, I didn't think I really related to the main character in any way, so I'm not exactly sure why I picked it up to begin with. I'm 29, not "middle aged" and my daughter is very young, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to put myself in Lexie's shoes... But then again, I'm a daughter and I'm a mother. So, I guess do relate. Lexie's journey through her memories sort of weave like her loom, where at first you're sort of confused by what is going on, but as the stories come together you can see the bigger picture. Honestly, I could read it again, so I gave it 5 stars on Amazon. I'm surely going to recommend it to my friends and most especially my mother.

Lesa said...


I "know" Holly Jacobs. I need to tell her to come to the blog and read your comment. Thank you. I wasn't curious because of Holly. If you had hated it, that would have been OK. It would have been how you felt about it. But, I love your sentence that the journey sort of weaves like her loom. Thank you.