Kelly Boyd’s life was quite predictable with every day planned out and the routine set. Her husband, Steve, is a Vietnam veteran who deployed shortly after their first child, Augie, was born. Now married with six adult children, Kelly and Steve were comfortable with their lives, until a stranger arrives at their door and their routines are flipped upside-down. The Jade Emperor by Suzanne Jenkins quickly sucked me into the storyline.
That stranger turns out to be the son of Steve and his mother is from Vietnam. Wait, what? Yes. Apparently, Steve had some fun when he was in Vietnam thinking he was going to die at any moment. He even convinced Kelly all those years that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when in reality he was internally hiding that he was in love with someone else in a different country and he never kept in touch with her.
When this stranger arrives, his mother is with him a well. Knowing this, Steve suddenly spends tons of time with the two. When Kelly finds them at a restaurant outside of town, she observes how he treats this Vietnamese woman and realizes that he has never treated her like that. The moment that Steve hasn’t been suffering from PTSD, rather from heart-break hits her. Kelly begins to understand that they’ve both been living a lie all these years.
It doesn’t take long before Kelly brings the family together, a common occurrence. Unexpectedly, Steve and his Vietnamese love, Lee, shows up in the middle of the gathering. Talk about awkward moment! Kelly uses this moment to begin getting to know this lady and her son, Titan, while containing her composure and encouraging her children to be polite.
Then, everything seems to happen quickly in the story and I went from being lost in the story to wondering what just happened and how did everything progress so quickly. The Jade Emperor was mentioned in the story until more than halfway through and there wasn’t much of a history about this Jade Emperor. Personally, I feel like the ending of this story was rushed. The detail of the beginning was lost about halfway through.
The Jade Emperor by best-selling author, Suzanne Jenkins, was provided complimentary through readingdeals.com for an honest review. I feel this story is a 3-star because it begins so well and the detail so realistic, then it lost me as the ending felt rushed and thrown together haphazardly.