Beverly Diehl's Reviews > A Baker's Dozen: 13 Steps to Distraction

A Baker's Dozen by J.L. Campbell
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Apr 24, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: short-story-novella, contemporary-womens-fiction, romance

This collection gives a peek into what led up to the novel Distraction. If you’ve already read Distraction, you’ll enjoy this look at these characters. If you’re considering one of J.L. Campbell’s books, this is a good way to get a taste of her writing style.

I loved this look inside Kyra’s head:
Kyra felt like a case a psychologist would refer to on a radio talk show; so often they discuss boys who suffered when their fathers abused their mothers, yet grew up to become wife beaters. In her way, she was like them - a woman who’d seen her mother survive terrible situations because of immature men, but couldn’t seem to avoid serial relationships herself.


Kyra almost gets near to be raped by her deadbeat ex, in a scene that's both chilling and realistic.

We see not only what is happening to the three Jamaican women: Justine, Dionne, and Kyra, but we get a peek inside the heads of the men with whom they are involved: Milton, Xavier, Alex, and even Mr. Crusty Feet himself.

The only reason I'm not rating this a five is because I don't think it quite works as a stand-alone work or a collection of short stories, each with beginnings, middles, and ends, but I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend this author.
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