Would life have been different for Johnnie if she’d been named after a woman rather than her dead uncle? Or if her mama hadn’t been quite so beautiful or flighty? The grandparents who raised her were loving, but they didn’t understand the turmoil roiling within her. And they had so many, many secrets. Why did her mama leave? Would she ever return? How did her Uncle Johnny really die? Who was her father?
Now Johnnie Kitchen is a 43-year-old woman with three beautiful children, two of them grown. She has a handsome, hardworking husband who adores her, and they live in the historic North Texas town of Portion in a charming bungalow. But she never finished college and her only creative outlet is a journal of letters addressed to both the living and the dead. Although she has conquered the bulimia that almost killed her, Johnnie can never let down her guard, lest the old demons return. Or perhaps they never went away to begin with. For Johnnie has secrets of her own, and her worst fear is that the life she’s always wanted—the one where she gets to pursue her own dreams—will never begin.
Not until her ghosts reveal themselves.
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“Johnnie Come Lately evokes the pathos of family life—secrets, betrayals, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and just enough love and forgiveness to make it all worth it. Kathleen M. Rodgers treats her haunted characters with keen insight and empathy, offering them the second, third, fourth chances that all of us flawed human beings need.”
Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone
Johnnie Come Lately
Kathleen M. Rodgers
"The remnants of Johnnie Kitchen’s childhood traumas threaten the life she needs and wants now - a deep and enduring love, children, and an orderly family life. Award-winning author Kathleen Rodgers has written a brave and uplifting novel that will move anyone who has faced a long, lonely road back from disaster and despair."
Joyce Faulkner, award-winning author of Windshift and In the Shadow of Suribachi
Gold Medal for literary fiction
MWSA 2015 Book Awards
Bronze Medal women’s fiction
Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards
“A beautifully crafted story about family secrets and second chances, Johnnie Come Latley is a guaranteed book club favorite. Former bulimic, Johnnie Kitchen, battles insecurity and doubt but never lets failure win. I loved her imperfections; I marveled at her strength. Reminding us of the true nature of courage, Johnnie is one of the best heroines I've met in years.”
Barbara Claypole White, award-winning author of The Unfinished Garden , The In-Between Hour, and The Perfect Son
Courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia
“The Kitchen family could be any wholesome All-American family, and like any family, they have secrets. In Johnnie Come Lately, Kathleen Rodgers brings to life an extended family that could be yours or mine. Their secrets will draw you into this book, and Rodgers' characters -- from Johnnie Kitchen to her lovable chocolate lab, Brother Dog -- will jump off the page, grab your heart, and won’t let it go until the very end.”
Terri Barnes, author of Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life and a columnist for Stars and Stripes