Just Beneath My Skin (****)

Alright, so it’s been awhile. Sorry but not sorry. I’ve been busy okay! I’ve read a lot of books (okay, not a lot, but a couple of books). I don’t remember them all, but I’ll start this off as my new and improved self. Well, maybe.

The book I finished reading was Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer. It’s a Nova Scotian/Canadian book based in a small rural community in mainland Nova Scotia. Growing up here in Nova Scotia, allows me to have a deep connection with this book, I feel. It’s been a part of the One Book Nova Scotia program, which is how I learnt about it (I went to the Word on the Street Festival in Halifax almost a month ago), and I picked it up at my public library.

It follows 2 characters, a man named Jake, and a boy named Nathan. Jake returns to North River after living in Halifax for a number of years, to see his son Nathan. He had decided that he wanted to take Nathan to Halifax to live with him, as he was afraid that his boy would be lost in the perpetuating cycle of poverty and violence that had taken over the small community. While back, he visited his anti-social (and I mean in the psychopathic way) friend Johnny Lang who had taken it upon himself to “bring him back down where he belongs” and stalks Jake and tries to run him down with his shot gun. In the end, after a vicious fight with Carla (Nathan’s mother) he takes off with Jake to his father’s place, and decides that the next day, he would leave with Nathan for Halifax, but first he had to go get his car. And that’s when trouble occurs. Johnny was waiting for him. There was a short chase, and the book ends with Nathan watching his father get shot and dying.

I enjoyed the book because of the mention of Nova Scotia (it’s not usually mention in books!), however, I HATED the short chapters (only a few pages max), and the ending. It did provoke feelings of sadness about the loss of Jake, but I’m not sure if that’s because I had just spent a good 10hrs watching Grey’s Anatomy (that show always hits me right in the feels!). Either it’s a good book, and really shows how nasty rural living can be, and how the cycle of violence and poverty can be perpetuated. Overall, I have to say I think I was a little disappointed by the book, especially when it’s supposed to be a “book club” book. But oh well, you win some, you lose some, I suppose.

Until next time, cheers and happy reading!

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