Jandrey, G. Davies 1947- (Gayle Davies Jandrey)

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Jandrey, G. Davies 1947- (Gayle Davies Jandrey)


Born April 10, 1947.




Writer. Previously taught high school for twenty-eight years.


A Garden of Aloes, The Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 2008.


G. Davies Jandrey was born April 10, 1947. She had a full career as an educator, teaching high school for nearly three decades before she decided to try her hand at writing a novel. Her debut book, A Garden of Aloes, was the result, and was released in 2008 from The Permanent Press. The story features a group of girls and women of various ages and situations who fall into each other's lives as residents of a motor court in Tucson, Arizona, located on the Miracle Mile. Audrey, Samantha, Eden, Chablee, Leslee, and Dee become fast friends, and it is their friendships with each other that ultimately help them cope with life-threatening dangers. Samantha, or Sam, is the primary focus of the story. Just twelve years old, she is caught on the brink of womanhood, yet still looks upon the world with the eyes of a child. She is confused not only by the changes—or lack thereof—taking place in her body, but by everything around her. She, her older sister Audrey, and her mother all used to live in a nice house in California. Now her mother has left her father far behind them and has brought them to live in this strange place, where they are always short of money, cockroaches infest their home, and Sam's sister is busy painting on lipstick and playing around with the boys in their neighborhood. Readers learn the reasons behind the move when Jandrey reveals that Leslee, Sam's mother, dragged her girls away from the man she loved when his drug habit began to give him a dangerously unpredictable temper. Each woman in the story has her own past, or dubious present, from Eden the exotic dancer to Dee, who is morbidly obese and openly religious. The women and girls begin to truly know each other, as each realizes the strength they see in each other, they begin to see a similar strength in themselves. A common history of abuse serves as the bedrock foundation of their unity, even in the face of a tragedy among them. Vanessa Dora Murray, writing for Her Circle Ezine Web site, commented that "Jandrey does an outstanding job crafting six characters' (all female) distinct voices." She concluded that the book "will bring tears to your eyes and have you rolling with laughter." Faye A. Chadwell, reviewing for Library Journal, praised Jandrey, noting that "the story affirms what a group of disadvantaged women can achieve when they join forces."



Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2007, review of A Garden of Aloes.

Library Journal, December 1, 2007, Faye A. Chadwell, review of A Garden of Aloes, p. 100.


G. Davies Jandrey Home Page,http://www.web.mac.com/g.jandrey (September 17, 2008), author profile.

Her Circle Ezine,http://www.hercircleezine.com/ (April 1, 2008), Vanessa Dora Murray, review of A Garden of Aloes.

Tucson Weekly Online,http://www.tucsonweekly.com/ (March 20, 2008), Julia Ramey, "Life-saving Friendships."