The Opposite of Everyone

The Opposite of Everyone

Book - 2016
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"A must-read."--New York Times Book Review

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 birth name 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 secrets of her own, 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 mysterious note: "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.

Publisher: New York :, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062105684
Characteristics: 295 pages ;,24 cm.


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Mar 14, 2019

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CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 04, 2018

Paula is a tough attorney, raised in foster care, and estranged from the mother who couldn't raise her. Then she gets a strange and unsettling message from her mother.

Mar 10, 2017

I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the ending was beautiful and perfect.

Jun 09, 2016

found it a easy read, but entertaining. At first I too liked the present day parts of the novel more than the flashbacks, but I came to enjoy the flashbacks because I thought it added depth to the main character, Paula, and it helped to explain the complicated relationship that she had with her mother

Mar 28, 2016

Liked the main character of Paula - tough, smart, and sassy. Each chapter starts with a story from Paula's childhood and then moves to the present. I liked the present day parts of each chapter more than the flashbacks. I understand that the flashbacks were necessary to the story, but I got a little bored with them and was more interested in the current day events involving her newly discovered siblings. Thought it had a good ending.

Mar 20, 2016

The writing is fast-paced and written in a bold story-telling style. This is not a pretty or subtle novel. Not for the Royal Doulton, pinky-finger up teetotalers. The characters are well-drafted. A small group of bent but unbroken people with defining quirks and characteristics that make them memorable. They are fierce, steely even yet fragile and personable, even relatable. They are also compelling and while hard-boiled, they pull on your heart strings and like all good characters, prompt you to feel compassion. With each chapter, the reading pace is quickened to match the rising tension.

I think to varying degrees, most of us know someone like the protagonist Paula. She is smart, open but her actions are unconsciously, reflective defensive.

This easy to read story tells the tales of the path of life in all it’s many incantations and incarnations. The writer, Joshilyn Jackson gets behind each character and their struggles and shows their unique ways of coping with the many difficulties retained from their past and difficulties in the present. She will have you cheering in hope that with determination, love will conquer all. And who doesn’t love a happy ending?

I recommend this work and look forward to reading one of the eight other novels written by the author.

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