JoeyPinkney.com Book Review
“Waiting for Monday”
by Janet Throneberry
3 of 5 Stars
“Waiting for Monday” by Janet Throneberry was a wonderful coming-of-age-story set in the mid-South.
At its core, “Waiting for Monday” was about the life of Monday Dawn Holder. Monday was abhorred by her mother, resented by her father, disgusting to her sister, tolerated by her paternal grandparents and loved by her maternal grandparents – especially the grandmother. She faced a series of challenges and tragedies that would make the average reader count their blessings as the novel progressed. This story will tug at your heartstrings and leave you emotionally spent by its conclusion.
As her parents struggled to live the American dream of big houses in cute residential areas complete with big cars, Monday was trying to make sense of a world that seemed to hurl tragedy at her every chance it got. Her story unfolded in ways that will leave you emotionally charged chapter after chapter.
“Waiting for Monday” was initially set near Memphis, Tennessee, in the fictitious Eden County. Janet Throneberry skillfully depicted the dichotomy that is present between living in the big city of Memphis and living the small town of Jacy City in Eden county. The author showed the culture clash that happens as families moved from Memphis to Jacy City and vice versa. In the midst of this shuffle, Monday’s nuclear family did its best to keep up with the Joneses.
Monday was virtually unwanted by her family. Her mother, Sadie, verbally abused her in the name of motherhood. Her dad, Ron, physically abused her in the name of discipline. Her sister, Gloria, abused Monday by allowing her friends to sexually abuse Monday in the name of peer pressure. The only thing that kept Monday’s mother from giving her grandmother, Clara, full custody of Monday was Sadie’s stubborn pride. Sadie hated more the obvious connection between Monday and Clara than she hated Monday’s existence.
For Monday, her grandmother was a beacon of hope throughout the novel. Clara was clairvoyant and could sense what was going on in the lives of her granddaughter and daughter through intuition and dreams. Clara’s psychic abilities skipped a generation and blessed Monday with powers that took her decades to understand and to grow into. It is that supernatural bond that helped Monday stay connected with her grandmother through her worst, most depressing experiences – including rapes, abuse and loneliness.
“Waiting for Monday” showed what lies beyond the facades of a squeaky-clean house, a hard-working dad and a Southern Debutante daughter. The Holders struggle to maintain the image of the picture-perfect family. Monday is often blamed when her family’s imperfections bubble to the surface for public consumption. Ron worked hard, but his love for his family was overshadowed by his insecurities. Sadie could have been a loving mother, but her guilt caused her to drive others away. Gloria was beautiful, but her narcissistic ways caused her to manipulate situations in hideous ways.
With “Waiting for Monday”, Janet Throneberry has a very emotional story to tell. The things that Monday Dawn Holder experienced made for an absolutely chilling read. Throneberry has a style of storytelling that at times is verbose. This became a double-edged sword for this novel. There were times where the author strung together the perfect combination of metaphors and adjectives to paint a picture so crisp that she put you smack dab in the middle of what was going on.
However, there were many times that Throneberry’s wordiness got in the way of letting the story flow. Sometimes, Throneberry’s word choice was simply inaccurate, where the wrong word was used in place of the intended term. In those cases, the meanings of those sentences was changed to the point where they did not make sense in the context of the story. This made for an uneasy reading experience.
The first quarter of “Waiting for Monday” was nonessential, which quickly whirls you past a myriad of miscellaneous characters. None of them had any true relevance after their introduction. I’m assuming that Janet Throneberry wanted to set the tone for the novel and illustrate the point that below the surface, everything was not what it seemed in Eden County and the surrounding areas of middle class America. However, the various anecdotes could have been better utilized by Throneberry as separate pieces of flash fiction using Eden County and Memphis as their base.
To that effect, “Waiting for Monday” could have begun when Sadie pulled up in her car to Clara’s house to announce her pregnancy with Monday. Readers would have been quickly pulled right into Monday’s world without a motley crew of interesting yet extraneous and irrelevant characters. Once you read how Monday was born and subsequently got her name, you can not help but to fall in love with this story. From her birth to the end of the novel, “Waiting for Monday” gave a powerful reading adventure.
This novel also needed a proficient editing job to polish and refine the story to fully reflect the powerful saga of Monday Dawn Holder. As mentioned earlier, the wrong word here and there made reading this story confusing. Using the word “bawdy” in place of “beady” totally changed the context of the sentence. Using “passed” in place of “past” caused me to scratch my head instead of continuing to read. “Sighting” and “siting” make for different sentences when interchanged.
Janet Throneberry also wrote “Waiting for Monday” in her unique Southern vernacular. That was another double-edged sword for the novel. It added flavor in some places, but it took away from the flow in others. Many times prepositions were left out of sentences, which caused the sentences not to make sense because the direction of the action had to be figured out. Throneberry’s style of putting sentences together, along with her thick metaphors, was hit and miss. I was on the fence on this aspect of the story. On one hand, I understood the desire to have a unique voice as an author as attested to by Throneberry’s peppered moments of pure literary genius. On the other hand, I felt like there were too many places in the novel that needed to be tightened up to make it easier to read. That boiled down to standard spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Monday Dawn Holder’s character in “Waiting for Monday” by Janet Throneberry was nothing short of remarkable. She made you root against Monday’s antagonistic family while falling deeper in love with the bond that can grow between a grandparent and a grandchild. Throneberry’s depiction of the world in which Monday lived was detailed and easy to relate to. The novel would benefit from a thorough editing, and an exclusion of everything before Monday’s birth, so that the execution of the story matched its level of intensity.
5 thoughts on “JoeyPinkney.com Book Review – Waiting for Monday by Janet Throneberry”
Well done review. Excellent detail. Thank you for sharing!
Detailed and well explained review. thank you for sharing
I thoroughly enjoyed the review. Quite well written. Very inclusive.
I saw how the setting was being laid out and that there were some people who only aided in establishing the nature of the surrounding area. That may have caused “light” readers to give up before the beauty of the story has been revealed. But, one of my favorite characters from the first chapter, David who was commissioned with tearing down the vacant home, turned out to play an important role at the end of the story. I noticed how the author liked to subtly hint at relationships such as this and wait to see who noticed.
So very glad you stayed the course and completed your review. I hope it will entice others to become interested in Monday’s quest to live without the jealousy, prejudice, hate and vindictiveness of the people she found herself having to deal with on a daily basis, her entire life.
Most established writers will argue that it is best to reveal the beauty of a story as soon as possible – as early as the first line. Why? Because most readers have access to so many great books that books that are slow when they don’t need to be tend to get set aside for more powerful stories that are easier to get into.
I saw David’s subtle history within the context of the story. However, this book would not lose any of its intensity if there was none of the set up in the first 50 pages nor David or even the nurse being included towards the end of the novel. I thought the nurse who was intimately tied to Monday would have a stronger presence at the end.
Whenever I see a comment like the one left by Eddie Wade on a review, one that seems to attempt to add insights and information about a book [to offset a less-than-5-star review] that only someone extremely close to the author (usually the author him/herself) would know, I start doing a little research. The results of my research usually explain loads about the intent behind the comment.
The neat thing is that Amazon makes this so easy, which is how I found a comment and also a comment on a comment by a user with the handle wade466.
On 12 March 2012, wade466 wrote the following 5-star review for this book: “I found the story line to be quite moving and you will find yourself very emotional at times. A range of feelings coursing through pity, anger, sadness, heartache, hope, hate, love, humor, revenge, or hope for revenge, joy and delayed gratification. I was not disappointed at all. The story keeps moving continually along with lots of symbolism and keeps you guessing at the outcome right to the end. Never sure how something will turn around or turn out.
I loved it.”
On 15 July 2012, TaylorIzaiah left a 5-star comment, and then a reply to that comment was left by wade466 that says the following: “I am on my husband’s Amazon account to reply to this comment. As the author of Waiting For Monday, I’d like to thank the reviewer for his kind, generous words. My first novel, this book contained errors he was kind enough to overlook, reassuring me once again that the story line was not effected. Happy Mondays to you!”
All this leads me to believe that the author of the book wrote the comment on your review of her book, and it doesn’t seem like she’s interested in taking your advice to leave off all the pages at the front of the book that add no value to and detract from getting to the “beauty” of the story.
Thanks for your thorough review and having the courage not to just glaze over the mediocrity. As you mentioned, I’m a reader who wants to read an excellent story from page one to page end, not have to wade through and be patient through pages of unnecessary information before the book gets good.
Anyway, I could be totally wrong about Eddie Wade being the author of the book, but what usually happens is that the commenter will have this unquenchable urge to reply that they aren’t the author [just like wade466 did here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R34JYOL5RAL8PS/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1467073172#wasThisHelpful%5D, and that’s usually the dead give away that they are the author.
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