Physically, Jodi Baxter has mostly healed since the car accident that injured her and killed a young pedestrian. Mentally and emotionally, Jodi is still on a journey toward wholeness. She counts on an eclectic—and often eccentric—group of women, self-styled the Yada Yada Prayer Group, to encourage her along the way.

Then crisis after crisis shakes up the group: robbery at knifepoint by a whacked-out heroin addict; a disastrous visit by a Japanese member's Shinto parents; the struggles of another member to reintegrate a long-estranged child into the family. Even the toughest member gets ready to quit when her dementia-afflicted mother dredges up a horror from the past.

Then an unthinkable encounter in Jodi's third-grade class threatens her precarious emotional stability. Can even God fix this mess? The women must lean on each other and hit their knees big-time to find out.

Jackson finds her stride with this one—warm, witty and just plain wonderful. Themes of forgiveness and justice are explored in fresh and provocative ways. (Aug., 400 pp., $13.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson