Book Review. The Existence of Pity. Jeannie Zokan. 

About the Author 

Jeannie Zokan grew up in Colombia, South America, where she read almost every book in the American school she attended. Her love of books led her to study Library Science at Baylor University then to attend The George Washington University in DC. When the chance came to head south, she took her motorcycle to Florida’s Gulf Coast to write stories for the local newspaper.

She now lives ten minutes from the beach with her husband, two teenage daughters, and three pets, all of whom keep her inspired and just a little frantic. She enjoys aerial yoga, tennis, and holding NICU babies as a volunteer. But there’s always writing. Writing to relive, writing to understand, writing to remember, writing to renew.

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                                                    The Existence of Pity would make a gorgeous film, with outdoor barbecues & the lush scenery of Columbia, which is the backdrop to one summer as the existence of Pity is revealed, & a family implodes, affecting everyone.

Josie, our protagonist, is likeable, & while the story is set up for us to like her parents, who are missionaries, this changes & when I had finished the book I abhorred them.

The beginning of this book is innocent, with Josie’s crush failing to notice her, summer plans, & what will her aunt Rosie bring them when she visits from New York, but we are then drawn further into the story, with a baby named Pity at the centre, as Josie questions the religion she believes in, & the motives of the people she lives with.

The story begins to move at an annual camp, where a beautiful romance starts. Josie starts to find an old friend, Tom, attractive, & he too feels the same. Josie is put off Tom by a hat that he wears, & this reminds us how young Josie is in terms of her emotional intelligence, which makes what happens next all the more shattering.

What happens next?

Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out! 

This is truly a stunning coming of age story. The Existence of Pity has romance, & subtle humorous passages, & while all this might sound like your run of the mill plot for its genre, there is a larger picture of family secrets, intrique, & crooks.

I think the bar has been set very high for this book to be one of the year. 

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