Synopses & Reviews
A sizzling, smart, and utterly engaging novel about sex, love, folklore, and family history from the author of Redemption Song
and The Haunting of Hip Hop
With her characteristic sense of humor and a good dose of motherly wit, Bertice Berry spins the endearing tale of Jim and Louella Johnson, an elderly couple in a southern town who have settled into a marriage that has long lost its pizzazz. Louella, fed up with her lackluster love life, decides to contact her departed ancestors for some advice. Conjuring up her mother, grandmother, and aunt in a dream, she receives a delightful lesson in the art of reigniting the fires of love.
Even more startling, the Johnsons discover they can help others rejuvenate their passions, heal their hearts, and mend their souls
Written in language that is folksy yet eloquent, Jim and Louella's Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy is an uplifting and flat-out funny celebration of the connections between past and present, the importance of family, and the pleasures of the body and the heart.
This sizzling, smart, and utterly engaging novel about sex, love, folklore, and family history, is penned by the author of "Redemption Song" and "The Haunting of Hip Hop."
About the Author
BERTICE BERRY, Ph.D., is an inspirational speaker, sociologist, and former stand-up comedian. She is the author of for works of non-fiction and the novels Redemption Song and The Haunting of Hip Hop. She lives in San Diego, California.
Reading Group Guide
The questions that follow are designed to enhance your discussion and personal reading of Jim and Louellas Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy. We hope these questions will also lead you to further topics of inquiry about this rich tale and these vibrant characters.
1. Louellas first encounter with her extraordinary ability to see and hear the thoughts of those around her is at the farmers market with Mr. Stan and Mr. Blue. Louella approaches the two men and their issues very differently. Is her insight into how to approach the two men part of her ability to see into their minds, or did she possess this kind of sensitivity before getting the “gift”?
2. Early in the book, Jim observes that their ability to read minds and solve problems is “surely as good as it is hard.” What are some of the positive aspects for Jim and Louella? What are some of the negatives?
3. Jim and Louella have very different yet complementary personalities. How does Jim handle the “gift”? How does Jims approach to the people seeking his advice differ from Louellas approach?
4. Why do Jim and Louella go so far out of their way to help Mae? Is it because of her past? Is it because she has never known real love, just a series of meaningless sexual encounters? Is it her ailing health?
5. Louella is at once proud and perplexed by her son Neal/Naim. In what ways does Louella admire him? How do his beliefs reflect her own? How do they differ?
6. What does the return of Jims brother John mean to Jim and Louella? What is the significance of his character? How does the story change when he comes into the picture?
7. How do Jim and Louellas neighbors problems in love differ? How are they similar? What common threads run through some of the stories?
8. Of the people who seek out Jim and Louellas help, who are the most sympathetic characters, and why? Who are the least sympathetic?
9. What role does forgiveness play in the lives of all the characters, including Jim and Louella?
10. How much of what happens to Jim and Louella and their friends is predestined and how much do they control through their own actions? How much of your life do you think is predetermined?