When Realness and Fiction Writing Convene – My Book Review


Jackson’s Pond Texas Series, Book 2


Teddy Jones

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga / Western Women / Rural Fiction  

Publisher: Midtown Publishing 

Publication Date: August 21, 2020 

Number of Pages: 275

 Scroll down for the giveaway!

Teddy Jones’s earlier novel, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, began the saga of the Jackson family. Now, Slanted Light continues their tale. 

Claire Havlicek’s late night call brings her brother Chris Banks from his home in New Mexico back to the town that bears their family name, Jackson’s Pond. She’s collapsed under the weight of threats to her thirteen-year marriage that have undermined her confidence and her will. Her husband, J. D., responds to seduction by a woman in need; theft and the threat of a forced buyout jeopardize Claire’s two medical clinics; drought imperils their ranch and cattle business; a teenage daughter turns to bulimia. 

When Claire admits her limits, her grandmother, Willa Jackson, and the other members of her family help her learn that being human, weaknesses and all, can be a source of strength and joy.


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When Realness and Fiction Writing Convene  –  My Book Review

“She, said, “The first thing we have to do, Claire, is find a woman who can clean for both us. I got smart and gave up housework years ago. You should learn early.””

Stories do not have to have pretty wrapped-up ribbon endings. Reading stories that are real can make you uncomfortable at times. Real enough that you feel the emotions of what the various characters are experiencing because you have kind of experienced similar emotions or situations. This is the splendid writing of Slanted Light, by author Teddy Jones.

This is the second book in the Jackson Pond, Texas series. You do not need to have read the first book in order to enjoy Slanted Light. It can stand on its own.

Teddy Jones tells a story about one family living in rural Texas. It is the drama of a mom working both a job and having to take care of her family. It is the story of how her daughter is struggling with being perfect. It is the story of her husband who is flirting with having an affair.

Here is the best part of this book for me. Slanted Light is one of those stories about a crafted fictional place called Jackson’s Pond in the Texas Panhandle, but encompasses real places that I have been driving through on a monthly basis since 2015 – from Floydada, Matador, Paducah, Vernon, and Lubbock. Teddy’s writing talent is showcased in her descriptions of this Rolling Plains landscape and these towns with meticulous accuracy. I almost felt like I was driving down the highway while reading passages from this book.

The other significant item Teddy gets right in this story is the lack of rain in the region she references. I can count on both hands how many times I have driven in the rain coming into Floydada and driving onward into Paducah since 2015.

Teddy’s writing is readable and relatable for pure pleasure reading. If you are looking for a book that reflects life but yet takes you away from your own world, then check out Slanted Light.

Teddy Jones

Teddy Jones is the author of three other published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as-yet-unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and “A Good Family” was named a finalist in that contest in 2018. 

Jones grew up in Iowas Park, a small Texas town. She has worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing-college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle, where he farms and she writes.

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First Winner

Signed copies of both Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series books

+ $25 Amazon gift card

Second and Third Winners

Signed copy of Slanted Light 





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