The two main characters, Jaycee and Bud, share similar emotionalchallenges, but were raised in very different environments. Both areextreme narcissists, egocentric, self-indulgent magpies with no likeablequalities. Both lost their mothers when they were very young, and bothcomplain of fathers who do not love them.
Jaycee was born and raised in a small Alabama town. She grew up poor andquickly learned to fend for herself; her father was to busy with boozeto take care of or even notice her.
Bud grew up in a very affluent environment in Florida. But Bud feltneglected; his brothers all took after their father, playing football,and running the family business. However, Bud was more interested inBaseball and college. These two unpleasant misfits meet in college andquickly realize they were made for each other. The story follows Jayceeand Bud as they make a life together and each learns to love and actselflessly.
The book is well written; however, there are several places (primarilyat the beginning) where the author’s voice breaks into the narrative, tofill gaps. For example, in the first chapter, Jaycee’s character andbrief history are delivered point by point in a couple of paragraphs.This reader would prefer to learn about the characters, from thecharacters, let the history unfold as needed.
Also, the book suffers from ‘bad blurbs’. When I first read the backcover, I was very turned off of the book; however, the story is edgy,fast-paced and colorful.
The ending is a bit of a let down, a little too fairly-tale perfect. Thestory overall has a hard-hitting edge and the smell of reality, but latein the story, Jaycee has several ‘near death experiences’ that push thestory into the realm of fantasy. So if you are turned off by Christianmythos or spirituality then skip those parts, they don’t add to thestory or characterizations anyway.
Overall, Different Roads is an entertaining book. I will recommend itand plan to look for more by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough.