Monday, February 8, 2010

Letting go of Bobby James Valerie Hobbs

Letting go of Bobby James by Valerie Hobbs16yr old Sally Jo (Jody) Walker is newly married to Bobby James. The two are away from their hometown of Purley, Texas, when Bobby James hits Jody for the first time. The next day he leaves Jody behind in a gas station with only $20 to her name. Rather then run back home, Jody finds her way to Jackson Beach, Florida. Jody's voice is sweet, honest, direct, real . I was quickly taken in with Jody's writing a letter to Mr. Harris Teeter.

"This is about the coleslaw. But first, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed the fine convenience of your food market in Perdido, Florida. Like I said to Bobby James, the coleslaw is probably just an oversight on your part. Still, I thought you'd want to hear about it. Bobby James said not to bother. An important personage like yourself would not take the time to read a letter from a plain out customer, he said. That was when I showed him your color ad in the Perdido News Press. Harris Teeter is waiting to hear from you."

In Florida, Jody finds a job and makes some friends. She thinks about her mother's marriage to her abusive father and her own relationship.

"Sometimes I thought I was stronger than my mama, that I would never let a man like daddy knock the fight out of me. Other times, I was not so sure. If I was back in Purley? And Bobby James came courting like he wasn't already a married man, with all those sweet promises and smelling like fresh aftershave? Well, I just didn't know for sure if I could turn him away. That was the shamefilled truth of it. Before I went back to Purley, I was going to have to find the strength in me. I didn't know exactly where to find it, or if I would know when I had it, but one thing was for sure. Letting go of Bobby James was for a reason. That morning in the Econo, I had listened to a voice deep inside me that I knew was the truth. It was only small then. It had been hiding behind Willie Nelson's words, whispering for me to stay put in the ladies. I figured when that voice got big enough to yell in my ear, well that was when I would have all my strength."


Barrie said...

What an amazing voice!

Jodie said...

That sounds like a really strong novel about a woman rebuilding her life.