I'll Be Seeing You - Book Review

I'll Be Seeing You

Author: Joanne Kukanza Easley
Genre: Fiction - Historical
Publisher: Red Boots Press
Date Published: September 1, 2022
ISBN-10: 9798986713304
ISBN-13: 9798986713304

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Book Review of :  I'll Be Seeing You


I'll Be Seeing You by Joanne Kukanza Easley is the life story of Ruby Eaton. The story begins in 1938 and follows her troubled life through 1985 when she is in her 60s and wants to fix the mistakes of her youth. From being a fourteen-year-old living on her family's cattle ranch in Texas, we follow her journey as she strives to redefine herself. 

Ruby Eaton, a beautiful budding teenager, was invited by her Aunt Imogene for an adventure to Manhattan, New York. Rather than being repulsed by the lifestyle of this free-spirited woman as Ruby's mother had been, she found herself enthralled and enchanted with what New York could offer. Back in Texas, a year later, she is crowned Miss Mineral Wells and finds herself at sixteen riding on a float during the Fort Worth Stock Show parade gaining press attention. The press pays off, and Ruby receives an invitation from John Powers modeling agency in New York that seems to solidify this Texas girl's place in fashion. Lauren (as she now wanted to be called) would take every opportunity available to fulfill her dream - her father allowed his daughter to go live with her Aunt Imogen in New York, to her mother's dismay.

Lauren was taken in by her aunt Imogen's wild and carefree lifestyle. A woman who embraced both men and women with a tender touch.  Some of her aunt’s hedonistic ways rubbed off on Lauren which would affect her modeling career and her life in general. The fashion world was Lauren’s love but the realities of the world soon interfered with her dream. The world was on the verge of a major change as World War II blossomed into a nightmare that would touch everyone.  Lauren’s lover Alain would go off to fight the war leaving behind a broken heart and other problems for her to face.

Lauren loved a lot of things, and some were taboo, she loved jazz clubs, drinking, and being adored by men. She was shocked when one man refused her because of her promiscuousness.  Her passion for music was endless, and it served as the soundtrack to Lauren’s journey through life. The ever-changing soundscapes of each decade were woven into the story; a poignant reminder of how things were changing.

Easley's captivating story follows Lauren as she navigates the tumultuous journey of discovering her identity in a challenging world. Her life was defined by a series of unfortunate decisions and choices, leading her down a path of isolation and alcoholism. Over the years, she experienced job losses, broken marriages, and constant relocation. Readers explore her changing perspectives through these successes, failures, and hard-won lessons. What kind of an uncertain future lies ahead for this imperfect individual?

With diverse characters and realistic challenges that are all too familiar to many women then and now, it is easy to be moved by this saga which speaks profoundly about love, heartache, and hope.

This masterfully-crafted narrative packs plenty of exhilarating twists that are sure to ignite emotions within its readers. The characters, too, are sure to resonate with their complexity and relatability - none more so than lead character Lauren whose plucky yet reckless attitude makes for a compelling read! And all of this courtesy of an exceptionally talented author who knows how to tell her stories with finesse!  

Reviewed by: James B

About Joanne Kukanza Easley

Joanne Kukanza Easley, born in Chicago, Illinois, has adopted Texas as her home. She lives in the Texas Hill Country on a small ranch with her husband, three rescue terriers, and abundant wildlife. Retired from a career in nursing--with dual specialties in the cold, clinical operating room, and the intense, emotional world of psychiatric nursing, she devotes her time to writing fiction. She is hard at work editing her next novel, JUST ONE LOOK, set in her native Chicago, and looking forward to her next project, LAUREN EATON.

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