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Reader Interview: Katy Brand on Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi

It’s time for this week’s reader interview – focusing on books readers of this blog consider absolute keepers. If you’d like to participate, you can find all the details here.

Also, if you’d like to read previous interviews, click on the Reader Interviews Part Deux tag at the bottom of this post.

Today’s interviewee is Katy Brand! (And she’s talking about a book that’s among my personal favorites, too!)

Katy Brand on Pamela Morsi’s Simple Jess

a) What’s the book about?

It is the story of a man named Jess who lives in a small community in the Ozarks and his developing relationship with a local widow. It’s hard for Jess to learn things and you see examples of this throughout the story, but he is also a man of common wisdom. The story revisits a community where other stories have been written, so you also get lots of side tales and old friends to meet again.

b) What do you love most about this story?

I love the realism of this story. Jess isn’t the brightest, but he has learned strategies and routines throughout his life and he uses them to make the most of his life. He sets out to win the girl, but goes up against men who have seemingly much more to offer. I love the fact that he’s not a superhero or mega-rich or a genius. He’s just an ordinary man with drawbacks and with strengths. The heroine is also someone trying to make her way in life. She is a mother and has realistic view on life. She and Jess’s relationship is a struggle that has you rooting for them the whole book. It’s hard to describe why I love this book so much. It just feels so pure and fun and wonderful to me. It makes me want to meet these people and visit this town.

c) How many times have you read this book?

Too many to count. At least once every couple of years since it was released. I still keep it in my nightstand drawer in case I want to pull it out and re-read it again.

d) Who would you recommend it to?

I recommend it to any and all!

e) Anything else you want to add?

Though this book is different from Nalini’s, I think that one of the things I like about both is the well developed characters. They have quirks and faults. They have idiosyncrasies. They also have a sense of community and justice.

:) Katy Brand