Irene Frances Olson has written a new novel about disparate characters between the ages of seven and seventy-seven that will have you laughing and crying in equal measure. Ms. Olson paints a picture of what it is like for individuals to evolve and arrive at a place where hurt begets joy, smarts don’t necessarily equate to intelligence, and vulnerability guarantees increased strength.

This novel, based in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, follows the story of Charlie, a too-trusting thirty-something-year-old high school teacher who thinks he knows what he wants until life radically alters his plans. It is the story of single mother, Hannah, and her young son, Sammy, content on their own but open to something more. And then there’s Gretchen, an educated professional whose thoughts and opinions are challenged at every turn when the cruelest of detours changes her life forever.

If you have ever hit speed bumps and roadblocks in your personal life, if your opinions and judgments about others have taken abrupt and unexpected turns, A Jagged Journey was written for and about you. If you don’t see yourself within the pages of this well-developed novel, it just means you haven’t yet purchased it.