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When Jesus comes to Miss Julia’s neighborhood in his least recognizable form - a group of homeless teenage boys - she not only doesn’t recognize him, she makes his life as difficult as possible.
The cold heartedness of Miss Julia made this book difficult to read. I kept at it in the hope that she would see the light, but that did not happen. In fact I was preached at throughout the book about the wrongheadedness of people (Christians in particular) wanting to help others by having them as their actual neighbors. You see, Miss Julia is all for loving her neighbor, as long as they don’t actually have to be in her neighborhood. She uses her pocketbook to ensure that her neighbors will be wealthy and privileged people just like her. The twisting of the Good Samaritan story underscores her lack of understanding of what Jesus meant when after telling the story he asked, “which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man?” (And when the man responds “the one who showed him mercy” Jesus instructs him to “go and do likewise” - Miss Julia shows NO mercy)
Aside from my difficulty with Miss Julia’s behavior - the book was uneventful, lacking in characters and humor and didn’t follow up with several side narratives. I have read every Miss Julia book - this one was beyond disappointing.
I have read every Miss Julia and am truly disappointed by this one. Miss Julia and her "Friends" have picked up on the mean spirited trend our Country is experiencing now. If this is how future books will be, I for one will pass.
Probably my least favorite of the series. It wasn’t the plot, but I thought it a little self-righteous in an annoying way. I found Miss Julia to be inconsistent and as stubborn as those with whom she found fault. Was disappointed to find money solving all the problems. Interesting debate on whether the church should serve the community before reaching out to the world.
I have read my last Miss Julia book. I am a foster mom and I very much take issue with the picture Ms. Ross has painted of "wayward boys" and the lack of understanding and compassion she displays in her handling of this subject. From the ridiculous wall that Hazel Marie's husband built to the way she finally situates the boy's home comfortably on the other side of town, this is the epitome of the shameful "not in my backyard" attitude. I kept waiting for Miss Julia to redeem herself and to be ashamed of her attitude toward these children but that redemption never came. I suggest Ms. Ross go to her local Family and Children office and do some research on some of the horrors foster children have suffered so she can find some compassion and redeem herself, even if it is too late for Miss Julia!!
I have read all of the Miss Julia series and have really enjoyed the fun reads. Intentionally or not, this one, however, seems to insert a very political undertone throughout the story. It's clear that the message at the end of this kind of mean spirited tale is that rehabilitation of young males is not possible, and you are only entitled to what you earn, That would be a fine message, but most of the main characters (except people of color) have inherited old wealth. A sad story that tries to redeem itself at the end with Miss Julia and Sam having to save the day with their money. Also, it's worth mentioning that the chapter with the excrement/vandalism was just plain uninspired and ridiculous. Sorry fans. Two stars for all the enjoyable reading Ann B. Ross has provided me over the years, but this one lacked heart and the new characters (Pastor, his wife and others) were completely one dimensional.
I have read and loved all the Miss Julia books up to this point. I think I got about 3 pages in before I realized the turn this had taken. In this installment, Miss Julia and her previously loveable band of sidekicks take on the Christian do-gooders in their town and save Abbotsville from having to live out any of Jesus' actual teachings. Completely disappointed that the author would foist these views upon us and wrap them up as Christian.
I bought this book for my mother, she has all the Miss Julia books and has loved each one of them, however she told me had this been the first book she would not of cared to read any others. We all should give everyone the opportunity to miss the mark from time to time, things happen, Please Ms. Ross don't make political statements in the future for Miss Julia, let her take us to the laughter that kept us coming back for more.
Ms. Ross is an excellent writer. Her use of words, dialogue, description, etc. are spot on. That's why I held with this "cozy mystery." However, nothing happened to make this a mystery. Didn't even find a puzzle. Ms. Julia started off as a wonderful character, but somewhere along the line, she became weak and complaining. This was my first novel in the series. Loved the characters, but I expected real mystery. That's the reason I bought the book. I skimmed through the last 50 pages of the book because I was so tired not to have a puzzle. The property angle was not mysterious or even interesting. Again, Ms. Ross' writing is wonderful. I would recommend the book to anyone who yearns for "real" writers. I needed more mystery.
I have been reading the Miss Julia books since their beginning. And while the series has occasionally sagged a bit in recent years, this one serves up all the charm and verve of the best. The plot is solid, with Miss Julia worried to death about a questionable foster home being set up next door to Hazel Marie and Mr. Pickens. The subplots work well, too. Miss Julia is contending with a new pastor, dog care, and her own social misstep.