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Book Review and a Giveaway: Jubilee’s Journey by Bette Lee Crosby

Jubilee's journey photoAlready a #1 seller, Jubilee’s Journey, the sequel to the award winning Spare Change, is a heartwarming read worth checking out. Like Spare Change, Jubilee’s Journey has wit, southern charm and an optimistic tone despite the hardships presented. This is one of those books that capture your heart from the first page. Each time I had to put the book down, I was disappointed because I wanted and even needed to know what would happen to all of these characters I fell in love with.

Before I started the book, I wondered when I would cross paths with old favorites Olivia and Ethan Allen. But it didn’t matter because I fell in love with the new characters just as much as I did with the old ones. In fact, I was drawn into this new story from the first sentence because it pulls you into a world that puts a face on people who are often forgotten.

“On an icy cold November morning in 1956, Bartholomew Jones died in the Poynter Coal Mine.”

“On an icy cold November morning in 1956, Bartholomew Jones died in the Poynter Coal Mine.”

That one line sets the tone for the entire book for it is that event that sets in motion all the ones that follow. Bartholomew’s children, Jubilee and Paul then go on a journey to find their Aunt Anita (their deceased mother’s sister) in the hopes that she will be able to help them because they no longer have parents. What then ensues is a series of incidents that lead Jubilee to cross paths with Olivia and Ethan Allen who help Jubilee complete her journey. There are surprising twists and turns but what really captivates, are the characters. You know a book succeeds when you find yourself rooting for the characters just as much as if they were real human beings.

One of Bette Lee Crosby’s strengths as a writer is her true empathy for people, her empathy represented with every richly developed character you come across in the book. All voices are heard and every voice is important, even the characters who are truly horrible human beings. I love that I can understand why each character is the way they are and can truly feel for them whether they are a murderer or a detective making foolish choices because he wants glory and accolades. When it comes to characterization, there are not many writers out there who can do it better. Not only that, she writes fantastic female characters. She even writes children well with no condescension toward them. They are treated and developed just as distinctly as the adults. One can’t help but love the wholesome and truly courageous teenage Paul who will do anything for his little sister; or especially seven year old Jubilee who steals the heart of everyone in the book and who will also steal your heart.

One of my favorite characters is Detective Mahoney. He was integral to the story of the first book, and the sequel is no different. He’s a regular guy with a good heart who always does the right thing, especially because the acid indigestion that comes when he feels something is wrong doesn’t go away till he does something about it! Again, he comes into the story to help Olivia, Ethan Allen and Jubilee and it’s nice to read about a regular, heroic guy who follows his intuition and heart despite what anyone thinks. I wouldn’t mind having an entire book devoted to him, I like his character so much!

Crosby also paints imagery like a true artist. The imagery she uses to describe the men, for instance, who work in the coal mines, is devastating as well as hauntingly beautiful; and so real. What the men in the coal mines had to experience was truly heartbreaking and she allows us as readers to catch a very real glimpse of that world. Crosby paints pictures using just the right words to bring you into a world you may have known nothing about before.

Overall, Jubilee’s Journey is a truly wonderful book and a successful sequel (one I like perhaps even more than the first—if that’s possible). From beginning to end, I don’t think Crosby makes any wrong turns and I look forward to more books in the future in The Wyattsville Series as well as from the talented Bette Lee Crosby in general. I recommend Jubilee’s Journey to anyone who wants to read a memorable book with fantastic writing and wit, rich characters, and a southern story that will warm your heart like a nice cup of tea.

Adaptation Recommendation:

With Spare Change, Book One in The Wyattsville Series I recommended a feature film adaptation. I still hold to that. Jubilee’s Journey would also make a great feature, and a fantastic sequel. The characters are wonderfully developed and visual and could easily attract a strong cast. Not only that, the story is engaging from start to finish. No doubt a film audience will love the story just as much as the readers already have. That said, if The Wyattsville Series continues, it’s easy to see how this would also work as a television series. A period show with southern charm, witty dialogue and memorable characters. It could be Gilmore Girls meets Steel Magnolias with a little bit of Mad Men thrown in. I know I’d watch every week.

Special Giveaway (now closed):

Want a chance to win a copy of Jubilee’s Journey? It’s super easy. To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment below and we’ll put you into the drawing. We will announce a winner soon. You can choose either an ebook copy or a physical copy if you win. Good luck. It truly is an amazing book.


Five Star Rating border

 “The stuff that dreams are made of.”

Book Blurb:

“#1 Amazon Hot New Release it’s first week out. Sequel to USA Today Bestseller Spare Change. Jubilee’s Journey is Book Two in the Wyattsville Series.

When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?

This story of discovering lost family and finding love reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the other heart-warming characters of the bestselling novel SPARE CHANGE.”

Page Count: 301 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 098912892X

Genre: Literary, Historical

Publisher:  Bent Pine Publishing (October 12, 2013)

ASIN: B00FV9610I

Buy at:


Barnes and Noble

Author Website: betteleecrosby.com



Read the new interview: Author Bette Lee Crosby Talks Jubilee’s Journey, Future Projects and More

For my thoughts on Book One in The Wyattsville Series,  Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby read my review.

Check out our other interview with Author Bette Lee Crosby.

Guest Post: Author Bette Lee Crosby On Jubilee’s Journey

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By on January 11th, 2014

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a blogger/writer full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

16 thoughts on “Book Review and a Giveaway: Jubilee’s Journey by Bette Lee Crosby”

  1. This sounds like a book series that I would enjoy reading about. I like the name Jubilee and good characterization in a book that I read so this sounds worthwhile in checking it out. Thanks for your reviews , they are always very thorough and interesting and draws me in.

  2. I can’t believe I never thought about it, but this could be a movie that would rival Steel Magnolias. Great of you to mention that and for sharing such a fantastic review.


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