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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
At seventy-five years of age, Alice Williams is still a sharp, spunky character, but she does forget a few things. Her daughter Karen decides she can no longer live alone, and finds a place for her at the Sorrento Retirement Facility. Alice considers this a prison for old people, a place for them to die, and isn't going to stay, but she will look around for a bit. It doesn't take long for Alice to make a few friends, including a young girl named Lily who is doing community hours at the facility. She also meets an orange-haired woman named Ruby and they become fast friends. When a new man, Henry Taylor, joins their group, Alice is drawn to him, but Ruby likes him, too. Will this be the end of their friendship? While all this is going on, a theft occurs and Alice is determined to get to the bottom of it. Can Alice solve the mystery? Read Just Wondering by Jianna Higgins and find out.
The cover of Just Wondering really caught my eye, but the story inside really captured my imagination and wouldn't let go. Ms. Higgins easily grabbed me from the beginning pages with the character of Alice. She was such a funny character, even when she wasn't trying to be. She didn't hesitate to jump in and help a friend when she was being bullied, and I loved the way she didn't let the charge nurse Melanie Moth intimidate her. I really felt like Alice got a new lease on life by going to the Sorrento Retirement Facility, and it truly made me think differently about such places. The friendships that were made were wonderful, especially the friendships Lily made; it was just what she needed to boost her confidence. The character of Ruby Smith was great. I could easily imagine her, and honestly couldn't wait to see what she might say or do next!
There was never a dull moment with the story, and while there were a few serious moments, there were plenty of fun filled scenes. The mystery woven into the story wasn't easy to solve and lent a cozy feel to the story for me. While Just Wondering is the first book I have read by Jianna Higgins, it certainly won't be my last. Her writing style is engaging, her descriptions are very realistic, bringing the characters and setting to life. Anyone who enjoys a well-written, humorous read with strong characters won't be disappointed!