On the surface, Paula Vauss appears to have it all together. She is a successful divorce attorney and tough as nails. What no one knows is her history as a foster kid--and that she put herself there and continues to pay the debt to her flighty mother Kai for landing her in jail.
When the check comes back one day, and soon after a young man shows up claiming to be her brother, Paula goes on a search for her mother with the help of her favorite private investigator.
Joshilyn Jackson usually strikes just the right tone for me on audiobooks and her narration is fantastic. I enjoyed most of this story, but it didn't quite live up to others of Jackson's that I've enjoyed. The only parts that didn't work for me were Kai's Hindu stories that she told Paula throughout her childhood--I completely tuned them out and likely missed some connections to the whole.
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A fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the nationally bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story and gods in Alabama – an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives.
Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with Southern Oral Tradition to re-invent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birthname Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own – one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. Separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.
These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that Karmic debt – until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter. “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.”
Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it’s too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together – her own.
The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us … and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.