Reviewed by Melissa Lockcuff
Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson
"...full of real characters, rich detail, and a storyline that leaves you wanting more."
Neta Jackson weaves a powerful
story, once again, this time with Gabby Fairbanks as her main character.
Gabby’s whole life is turned completely
upside down in one night as her husband throws her out of their penthouse
apartment on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, spiriting her sons away to Virginia
to where his family lives. Gabby and her mother are left destitute and
homeless. Gabby feels the weight of the world on her shoulders and desperately
wants to get her sons back. The only problem is that she feels so utterly
alone and hopeless.
It’s hard for Gabby to grasp everything that has transpired, but with her friends/colleagues at Manna House, the shelter where she works, Gabby has the encouragement and help she needs to keep trudging on. As in Neta Jackson’s other novels from The Yada Yada Prayer Group, familiar characters from that series step into this story, as well. In fact, they are intertwined throughout the story, as Gabby begins to realize that she’s met most of them through ministry at Manna House. Jodi Baxter actually takes Gabby and her mother in, along with her mother’s hero dog, Dandy. The question still remains, for Gabby, though. How can she get her sons back when she really doesn’t have a penny to her name?
With the support of the ladies and the support of her lawyer, Lee Boyer, Gabby begins to make the necessary changes it’s going to take to get her boys back. Only she’s met with several obstacles along the way. As Gabby deals with each obstacle, you can feel her hunger to spend time with God, but a lot of times busyness and life get in the way of her personal relationship with Him. Through her meetings with the Yada Yada Prayer Group, Gabby begins to have hope again. When tragedy strikes, it seems that all hope is lost of ever getting her boys back. God has a mysterious way of providing for His own, though, and that is a key concept that I was able to grasp from this story. When there seems to be no hope, God always opens up that window of light and lets the hope stream in. The director of Manna House has told Gabby before that there’s a reason she is there…. will Gabby find that reason? Will Gabby find her true purpose after all?
The end of the book actually left one to wonder whether Gabby might be able to mend her relationship with her husband, since she discovers what is truly going on with him. It does leave that portion of the story for another book, though. One is also left to wonder if there is some sort of connection between Gabby and Lee, as if there might be a future between the two?
This book was another breath of fresh air by Neta Jackson. It’s a portrayal of inner city ministry, at the same time weaving a fantastic story throughout. It’s full of real characters, rich detail, and a storyline that leaves you wanting more.