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The Return of Jonah Gray
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The Return of Jonah Gray

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  215 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Despite being attractive, intelligent and friendly, Sasha Gardner knows no man wants a phone call from her. Because Sasha is a tax auditor for the IRS. Every job has its downside. Auditing may interfere with her social life, but it's orderly. It makes sense. And she's very, very good at it. But when unexpected complaints draw her into the tax return of a man she's never me ...more
Paperback, 347 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Mira Books (first published 2004)
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Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is difficult to rate.

I bought the book because I love the name Jonah. Yes, that was the sole basis for my purchase---that and the fact that it was on sale.

I almost put it down after the first few pages. I appreciated the characterization Cochran was going for in Sasha, but it was forced and that made it painful to read. But I kept going because I liked the idea, and I figured I'd give it a chance to settle down, to see if it became more natural---and it did.

Since Sasha is our narrator, it f
THE RETURN OF JONAH GRAY is a gentle love story, a visit with a dysfunctional family and seeing how much a career affects your personality all rolled into one. A play on words, Jonah is the recipient of an audit by Sasha Gardner. Jonah left his high profile job in Virginia as a journalist to work for a small-town paper in California. Add to this mystery he now blogs on the internet about gardening. Loved by all his followers, there has to be something wrong with him, right?

Sasha has a career wor
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoyed Cochran's first novel, Mean Season, very much. But this book was lacking the charm and character development that was found Mean Season, which was very disheartening.

The Return of Jonah Gray claims to be about a woman, Sasha, who works for the IRS, falling for a man, Jonah Gray, that she is auditing--falling for him on paper, that is. However, this story seems to take a back seat to the main focus of the story, which is Sasha's family: most notably, h
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I like the wordplay of the Return of Jonah Gray being his tax return. The book is supposedly a tale of "love at first audit." But really, much more of the book is devoted to the main character's family.

Tell me I'm going into a book that's a love story and I wait for that to take place. On that level, this book is a letdown.

Go in with no assumptions? I'd have enjoyed it much more.


See, I'm the kind of person who feels cheated by movies like "Sleepless in Seattle" or "'Til There Was
Just - The romance reader
I enjoyed the story, but I didn't love it. No threats were made to stop reading before I reached the end, and at no point did I get bored with the story. It clipped along at a nice even pace.

I found the ending to be appropriate, and cute even, yet at the same time a little abrupt. I would have liked the last scene to have carried on a little longer, but on the other hand, it was fitting to end as it did.
Rachel Held
Dec 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
The Return of Jonah Gray is one of the worst books that I've read all year. It was not only boring, but I oftentimes found myself falling aslee in the middle of a sentence. Cochran's obsessive talk of people honing in on Sasha Gardner's supposedly strange name was not only irritating, but unrealistic; she would make it seem as though everyone knew that Sasha was commonly a boy's name in Europe, and everyone would think that somebody whose last name is Gardner would be a gardener. Cochran's writi ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: would-read-again
I expected this book to be cheesy (hello, read the title) but I was immediately drawn in, at first by the subtitle (yes I actually just admitted that) and then by the book itself. It's a wonderful story of coming to understand who you are and what you want out of life. The characters are all extremely realistic (this was a welcome change because I recently went on a super-cheesy-unrealistic romance binge) and a handful a downright charming. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE. No exceptions ...more
Dawn Tutt
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Talk about a back cover description that does not really tell you what the story is actually about...
The main character is a tax auditor and Jonah Gray is an audit that she finds herself becoming romantically obsessed with even having never met him.

But the real story is about the character herself and her family, a truly complicated bunch. I liked the way the family interactions were written, they were honest, saying the things that a sister would actually say to a brother when he is being an a
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny
The depth of this book surprised me...I found a kindred spirit in Sasha Gardner, who believes that no information is useless--"It just depends what you need it for." (If I knew half the information she spouts off, I'd be the best Reference Librarian in Louisiana!)

This book was a journey of laughter and tears, learning about the amazing complexity of life along the way. There's so much I want to say about this book, but I don't want to ruin it for other readers. Let's just say I'm happy that Sash
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, humor
What a fun read this was. The author has a delightful sense of humor and tells a tale that keeps the audience interested along the way. This is the story of a young woman who works at the IRS and seems to be caught in drudgery of audits and relationships that seem to lead nowhere. Her family is a mess and becomes messier as the story progresses. Although this is a book filled with humor it is also a book with sadness and folly. Read it because it is a good read and because it really ends where i ...more
May 01, 2007 rated it liked it
This is a fun read about the fine art of cyber-stalking from an author who cleverly balances Chick and Lit. The protagonist is an IRS agent who likes what she sees in a guy's tax returns and becomes mildly obsessed, even using her nephew as a pawn to get near said auditee. I have been audited by the IRS (no change) and it was nowhere near as pleasant. I also liked Cochran's first book, Mean Season, when a friend who knows her brought it to my attention. (See, that was full disclosure, but I woul ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This story was easy enough to digest during a plane trip, though to call it "engrossing" or even "interesting" would be an overstatement.

Following the family dramas and dating disasters of an IRS auditor, "The Return of Jonah Gray" is full of predictable plot points, run-of-the-mill characters and not-so-surprising twists. Serviceable, at best.
Suzanne Graham
May 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm a huge fan of romance and the subtitle on this caught my eye - 'an unconventional tale of love at first audit'. Unfortunately, the romance was a minor subplot. I found myself pushing to the end to get through the family drama to find the romance. Not a bad read as long as you're not looking for romance.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I think I liked the title more than the book itself. It was well-written, and the characters were interesting. It's just that not much happened in an emotionally charged way. Almost all the characters in the book are reticent, and that doesn't make for compelling reading.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was really fun. I enjoyed and actually thought a lot about it during tax season and wished I'd hung on to it to reread it during that time. Plus who can't relate to a job that sucks or at you're not right for?!
Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Light quick summer read with a good number of laughing moments until the book got bogged down in Sasha'a father's illness. A bit far fetched but fun and I even learned something about the IRS. (Did you know that the start of your social security number identifies where you were born?
May 28, 2011 rated it liked it
lightweight family drama/romance. would probably make a decent movie, it's kind of formula like that; good dialog and one liner jokes. fun if you don't think about it too much. it helped that i identified with the over-logical accountant heroine. :) touches a bit on the concept of web community.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
This novel was ok but not great. The story was fun but the writing was clunky. I noticed several times when the writer had made mistakes in writing the plot. Some things just didn't make sense.

This book would be good for anyone who has dated a mailman or been audited.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I almost abandoned this book because some of the reviews were mediocre but I am glad I finished it. I liked the writing very much. Great metaphors and similes. Nobody's family is perfect and sometimes you find love where you are not expecting it.
Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it
very cute.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'd like to know a Jonah Gray.
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was really well written. I enjoyed it because it took some deep issues and managed to put them into a pretty quirky, light-hearted story.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
I thought the tax return angle was new and different. The story however was painfully boring. This was my first book by this author, and I am not anxious to read another one by her.
May 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
this was nice light reading.
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Great book! Not as slapstick funny as I've been reading lately, but witty and touching. I love that 'Return' meant his tax return!
Crystal-Rain Love
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by this author and she has a fan in me. For the second time, I find myself sad to have finished a book by her, sad to leave the world she created...

Brandi Barnes
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Good easy read. I was wanting something light. I enjoyed the family dynamics in this book. Goes along with my theory that all families are dysfunctional. :-) Good for a beach read.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-reads
Better than average chick lit. And the perfect Tax Season Widow read.
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is an example of why you don't read books simply because the title suggests something having to do with the degree you're seeking.
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“Repotting a plant gives it space to grow. Repotting ourselves means taking leave of our everyday environments and walking into unfamiliar territory—of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit. It isn’t easy. The older we get, the more likely we are to have remained in the same place for some time. We stay because it’s secure. We know the boundaries and, inside of them, we feel safe. Our roots cling to the walls we have long known. But remaining inside can keep us from thriving. Indeed, without new experiences or ideas, we slowly grow more and more tightly bound, eventually turning into less vibrant versions of who we might have been.
Repotting means accepting that the way is forward, not back. It means realizing that we won’t again fit into our old shells. But that’s not failure. That’s living.”
“i know they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. but sometimes, absence can also reveal the waning of once fond feelings. time passes and it's a surprise to realize that you haven't missed him, or her, or the place or the job that once felt like a match. ” 3 likes
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