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Bjoyfl Paperback – September 3, 2002

24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (September 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591297109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591297109
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,544,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. squires on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I finished reading the final page of a remarkable book, 'Bjoyfl,' by an equally remarkable writer, whose name is Lynn Barry. I was sorry the novel came to an end, though it ended precisely where it ought to end. It's just that I got to know and love the characters, and I wanted to hang around with them a bit longer. I knew this was her second novel, having read from the back cover of 'Bjoyfl' that the first-born of her imagination was 'Puddles.' So, I knew that I was only a book store away from what I was confident I would find to be an equally compelling assemblage of characters. So, I closed the book and closed my eyes as well, loosened the conscious grip on my mind to see what it would pick up of the impressions that were swirling and eddying around it. It keeps coming back to the characters, those beautifully quirky characters who race around, stumble and fall, leap up, soar and plummet, then Phoenix-like, rise again. But I see them now, not as individuals, but all together as though a part of a brilliantly variegated piece of cloth -- not a square or rectangular piece of cloth, mind you, since it is made up of all these variously-lengthed pieces of thread, some thick, some thin. Each thread is a character, and each of Lynn Barry's characters is colorful. And the characters' lives seem to weave in and out of each other's, perhaps shuttling down and out of sight for a while, always to surface later on another part of the cloth. The author knows exactly what she is doing. She introduces you to a character, lets say on page 25 with whom the reader is helplessly in love by page 40, who drops out of sight (the reader assumes, sadly, for good) somewhere near the middle, only to bob up -- revivified -- in the second to last chapter. Don't search these pages for murder or mayhem.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Johnson on November 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
With her second book, Lynn Barry has matured as author. She took the seemingly mundane premise of a not-so-young woman going to college and transformed it into a rich slice of real life. Dark humor is Barry's trademark, but BJOYFL gives the reader more than that. Poignancy and pathos also play a part in giving this book life.

Valerie Martin is 35 years old, still single, and in college for the first time. She works in a supermarket and has a small apartment above it, but makes the most of a rather dull existence. She faces life with humor despite the emptiness she feels. Val wants a mate and looks at nearly every man she meets with that thought in mind. She wants a husband, children, and envies friends who have such blessings in their lives. Val is a loyal and supportive friend, but secretly envies Ellie, who adores her long-time husband, and Debbie, the single mother who is lively and earthy.

Val's failed attempts at finding romance are often funny, reported as they are in first person, but I also found them to be bittersweet, sometimes tragic. Her struggle to find love and marriage, provide support to her friends, and gain a coveted degree in higher education seemed all to real to me.

The title says it all. BJOYFL. Val learns the secret to "being joyful" and sets about to tie up loose ends in her life as well as the lives of her friends. Does she find happiness with a husband? Gain that coveted degree? You'll have to read the book to learn that answer. One hint: You'll be joyful at the end of this adventure. Ms. Barry made very sure of that.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christy T. French on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Bjoyfl" by Lynn Barry proves this author's style just gets better and better. Ms. Barry has the unique ability to introduce her characters in such a way that by the end of the first chapter, the reader is well-acquainted, a method well-utilized by Elmore Leonard. This book is a fast read and moves quickly with twists and turns that caught me off-guard but added dimension to the story. Barry's subtle sense of humor shines through from time to time and is a delight. A great book about a woman in her 30's dealing with life's issues that is a true joy to read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frederick A. Babb on June 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Valerie Martin is a thirtysomething lady seeking to find herself in life. Long on dreams and short on reality, Valerie has returned to school to get her college degree. She meets up with two more ladies well beyond the average college student age and the three of them share a bond that only ladies in their situation could understand.
Valerie has got more than her fair share of problems in places she doesn't even know exist. As she looks around she finds herself surrounded with such problems as being pressured by her mother to get married before she becomes an old maid, falling prey to a young student that awkwardly looses his virginity with her while she is only seeking someone to pay attention to her, possible suitors getting her hopes up only to thank her for being the eternal "friend" that listens to them and dealing with a troublesome child that seems to enjoy the thrill of shoplifting at the store she works. These are some of the fronts she has to conquer.
By the time you finish the book, you will have enjoyed her trip through two possible marriages and a surprise finish. Valerie suffers more than a little bit as she places the role of a little, insecure girl trapped in the body of an adult. Torn between hiding in the comfort of her parents house and facing the world on her own, she spends many a night crying, wishing and dreaming of a happiness, yet not knowing what she really needs to be happy.
A sidebar story of an author spending time in her parent's bed and breakfast establishment while penning a new book called "BJOYFL" is one that will finally lead Valerie towards her true happiness. She will come to terms with the fact that, to be happy, one has to be happy with themselves.
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