Book: Joy After Noon (Sugar Sands series Book 1) by Debra Coleman Jetercategories: Book, Communication, Step-Mother, Whistle-Blower, Romance, Marriage, Perfectionist, Scandal, Widower, Financial Crisis, Miscommunication, Step-Daughter, Life Groups, Second Marriages
Debra Coleman Jeterabout this book: Overview:
JOY AFTER NOON is the story of Joy Hancock, her new gorgeous husband Ray, and his two daughters, Marianne and Jenny. Marianne, a would-be ballerina, is haunted by the image of her deceased, perfection-demanding mother. Her younger sister, Jenny, longing for acceptance and companionship, befriends troubled and trouble-seeking Claudia, with dire consequences. Joy struggles to balance the challenges of career as a college professor coming up for tenure with those of her new family, while Ray faces an ethical dilemma at work. He must decide whether or not to blow the whistle on his colleagues following an ill-advised merger. At home he alternates between being distracted and irritable, and Joy misreads the signals as indicating his disappointment in her due to her failures—to live up to the model set by his first wife and to cope with the girls and domestic life.
Joy After Noon is the first published novel in my new Sugar Sands series. I set the novel in the fictional beach town of Sugar Sands, Alabama.
Inspiration for Joy After Noon:
Initially, the idea behind my title, Joy After Noon, was that Joy’s life has been lonely (and joy has been elusive) since her parents died when she was sixteen, and she has about given up on finding love when she meets Ray. She comes into his ready-made family and, for a time, this seems like a mistake. However, in the afternoon of her life, she finds love and joy.
When does the afternoon of life begin? Joy is much younger than I am, but she’s never been in a serious romantic relationship before, and she no longer expects one when she meets Ray. She does not consider herself particularly desirable or even attractive, and she’s thrilled that Ray finds her beautiful. Doubts emerge, though, after the honeymoon, and soon she begins to question his real motives in marrying her.
Yet, I think the concept goes deeper than this, and the afternoon of life does not begin at a particular age, or even stage of life. In the novel, Ray has been pursuing career success and material acquisitions, and experiences a significant change of direction. Some fairly disastrous events in his workplace precipitate the change—events that threaten not only his financial stability but the core of who he is.
Carl Jung says: “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.”Jung goes on to describe life's afternoon as the time when we begin to shift away from the ego being the dominant force in our life and move toward a journey that has real meaning.
I also like the following quote: In the afternoon of your life, you don’t do life. You do what resonates with the callings of your soul.
Advance Praise for Joy After Noon:
Jeter’s characters and scenery are so vivid and real that I felt I was right there sharing all their hope and fears. So looking forward to the next installment!—Jana Little
Debra Jeter does a beautiful job creating realistic characters whose lives intertwine in an honest and purposeful way. I found myself still thinking about their stories once the book ended—Katy Owen
Joy After Noon drew me in and my heart ached along with hers as I followed her struggles. I found myself relating to many characters in the novel--cringing sometimes and laughing at others—Tracy Wilbanks
I was instantly drawn into Joy’s story. A beautiful story full of inescapably good characters - you get so pulled into their world that you miss them just as soon as the book is closed.—Paige Boggs
• Refresher of what life was like in the 1980s in the South—if you lived through it—or a window to it, if you didn’t
• Greater understanding of how “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord”
• Greater understanding of the impact of jealousy and the importance of family
• Illustration of the importance of communication in marriage, and the dangers of being misunderstood when you fail to articulate your concerns.
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
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