Stand by Me by Neta Jackson is the story of the idealism of youth meeting the experience of, ahem, maturity. It’s “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young” meeting “These older women must train the younger women.” The slow-growing relationship between Kat and Avis is beautiful, brilliant, and unique. I just loved doing my best to absorb all the wisdom contained in this story.
Fans of Neta Jackson’s Yada Yada Prayer Group series, which I have not yet read, will find that group in this story and, as I understand from the Reading Group Guide in Stand by Me, a deeper look at Avis’s character. Though this is a new series, SouledOut Sisters, Yada Yada fans will want to continue what they started here. On the other hand, Jackson gives more than enough information to keep readers who are meeting these characters for the first time, like me, totally in the loop. I never felt lost, enjoyed the current story and characters, and look forward to someday reading the Yada Yada books.
Themes touched on in this story include: homelessness, domestic violence, church politics, racism, inner city ministries/social services, salvation, Christian growth, mentorship, economic issues, and more. The series is set in Chicago and revolves around members of the SouledOut Community Church.
I’m happy to recommend this book and thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me with a complimentary eCopy for my honest review.