Good Girl Paperback – 30 March 2017
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- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 168003121X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1680031218
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.52 x 21.59 cm
- Publisher : Texas Review Press (30 March 2017)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
"When we think of our family circle, there are so many words that can be spoken about the circle of life that formed us. [A Good Girl] brings the story of family 'full circle' reflecting on what matters most, at the end of this life here on earth--love and forgiveness. I was deeply touched by this family's journey of healing-- a journey we all inevitable seek to experience with someone in our family."
About the Author
JOHNNIE BERNHARD is a former English teacher and journalist with a passion for reading and writing. Her work(s) have appeared in the following publications: The Mississippi Press, the international Word Among Us, Southern WritersMagazine, Southern Literary Review, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, "The Last Mayberry," received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally. Johnnie's first novel, A Good Girl received finalist recognition in the 2015 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition. It is a featured novel for the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals, a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards, and a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert Bingham Prize.
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It is Gracey’s aim to do the right thing, even if it is from a sense of perfunctory obligation. Fighting a nagging resentment, she goes through the motions of tending to her father, while her older brother nurses his childhood wounds, and her younger sister seems to have gotten off scot-free. Birth order matters—it spawns separate experiences, yet Gracey achieves an aerial view as she reflects upon a generational line tethered with the common thread of hard knocks, desperate circumstances, and the will to survive for one’s children.
Only a profoundly sensitive, deep thinking writer could compose a novel with such breathtaking, well-crafted acumen. More than a pleasing story, A Good Girl makes a humanistic point that isn’t cheapened with a convenient moral. It’s a big subject, this business of the sins of the father. Author Johnnie Bernhard handles it deftly, and touches on the redemptive powers of unselfishness, when one puts aside their self-oriented feelings to seek a compassionate, wider understanding of cause and effect in a family dynamic reaching three generations back to Galway, Ireland.
I was invested in each character throughout this story. Those in the past were equally as vibrant as those present tense, and the way in which Bernhard wove this epic saga to come home to an uncanny full circle was heart-warming and emotionally satisfying, when Gracey’s daughter, Theresa, marries a man from Ireland.
A Good Girl is a story of personal growth on the inner plane; a story of faith and hope and the ties that bind. It is universal in theme, in that it is the kind of story that compels one to pause and reflect upon their own familial history. All praise to author Johnnie Bernhard. I loved this novel and look forward to her next release.