Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Review: This Side of Heaven

Karen Kingsbury can write. She can tug at your heartstrings and make the tears flow. Her characters are well-drawn, even if she does recycle them through several books. However, unless the legal system in Colorado is vastly different from that in Louisiana (and I don't think it is), then she needs to do better research. This Side of Heaven is about Josh, a young man who was badly injured when he was hit by a drunk driver. The book tells of him giving several depositions, with the judge present. Generally, plaintiffs only have to give one deposition (and while it may go more than one day in extraordinary cases, in general any plaintiff lawyer worth his/her salt isn't going to allow his/her client to be deposed more than once without a big fight. Also, judges do not attend depositions. Further, thoughout the book, Kingsbury refers to Josh's settlement. It is true that most cases settle--the plaintiff and defendant agree on an amount before the case is tried. I seem to recall in this book though that the judge determined the amount of money Josh was to be paid--and that is called a judgment, not a settlement.

Other than her errors about the legal system, it is a good book. It deals with Josh's relationship with members of his family--including the daughter he has never met. Josh is a blue collar kid of white collar parents. He suffers great physical pain because of the accident and great emotional pain because of perceived failures in life. I don't want to say much more, because I don't want to spoil the story. Suffice to say it was a good read; and the ending was full of joy.

First Wildcard is touring This Side of Heaven on February 13. Check back then to read the first chapter.

Question for Discussion: Is there any problem with white collar, particularly wealthy white collar parents having blue collar children?


  1. I can remember when Scott was in law school hearing how states had different laws but HOW VERY different Louisiana was.... but there still could be some inaccuracies depending who they asked - a contract attorney doesn't know a great deal about PI law.

  2. I don't think it is a problem but I think to many parents it's a problem. When we lived in FL, there was a young man in James' Boy Scout troop that wanted to enlist in the Marines (dad is a psychiatrist, not sure about mom) and his family was adamently against it. They insisted he go to college and then if he wanted go in the Marines. He listened to his parents. We moved soon after so I don't know if he chose the best path or not.
    I think all parents want the best for their children and for generations that has meant we wanted more and better for our children. But we are the generation where many/most of us went to college so there is not "more" for our children to attain.


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