BOOK REVIEW: Judas and Jezebel: The Tales of a New York Nanny

Posted on November 30, 2016

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judas-jezebelJudas and Jezebel: The Tales of a New York Nanny

C. Y. Brown

Xlibris US

978 1 52451 265 1

2016

This is a story about lust, greed, and betrayal. C.Y. Brown agreed to move from Brooklyn, New York to New Jersey with a wealthy young couple and their baby. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect the couple to use her and the baby as pawns for their own greed and self gratification.

A long and nasty divorce, involving multiple lawyers, psychologists, family secrets and continuous lies by the couple. The husband tries to hold on to his money and the wife tries to grasp as much of the money as she can. What lies ahead for Carol and a young innocent child, trapped in the psychological game of cat and mouse?

I have quite mixed feelings in writing this review.

I obtained a copy of Judas and Jezebel to review for the Online Book Club. More details about it can be found here. The book opens with a statement that it is a work of fiction with everything either the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Yet this is followed by a prologue which, to me at least, suggested this really is an account of the horrible couple Brown once worked for. This sense was heightened by the closing sentence which declared writing the narrative had been conducted as a therapeutic exercise.

Quite clearly Brown found herself working for a really nasty couple. I think that pair deserved each other. And, as usually the case in such matters, it would be their child, their daughter, who would be the real victim of that family group.

As an account of an experience, Judas and Jezebel displays first a gold-digging wife who has real problems, beyond those she is being treated for. It is then only in the final third of the narrative that we discover just how horrible, controlling and dishonest the husband is as well.

If you are interested in an account of escalating problems of horrible people for whom money has not brought any happiness, then you will get something out of this. Similarly, those interested in the experience and observations of both a participant in and observer of such deteriorating relationships, will also get something out of it. It would be difficult to read this and not feel somewhat moved on Brown’s behalf about her experiences. As a narrative in its own right, Judas and Jezebel is not hard to connect with. However, you also need to be aware that it is a narrative of less than 100 pages and it did not take long for me to read it.

Set out as it is as a first-person account, I have no doubt that the objective of the original exercise – a therapeutic mental cleansing – was realised. I have done the same form of therapy as well. However, as a published narrative I think it could have used further development. In fact, all the elements are there to create a cracker of a full-length novel. For that matter, I could see this as basis for a decent film script as well.

Anyone self-publishing would be well advised to get a proper editor to do at least a full proofread as I found grammatical and syntax issues popping up here and there, which puts me off greatly. Authors are notoriously bad at proofing their own work and arguably I am among the worst of them, hence the value of an experienced set of extra eyes. Similarly an editor could have provided valuable assistance in the layout of the narrative to further improve its flow and dramatic impact.

From me it gets 3 stars and for the Online Book Club, 3 out of 4.

While I reviewed Judas and Jezebel for Online Book Club, this review is entirely my opinion.

PS – don’t be afraid to follow this blog or post comments. I don’t bite…as a rule.

star3

 

 

Ross sig

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Posted in: Review