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Publisher's Summary

Polishing Jade is set in the 1960's in rural Mississippi where the secrets are as sticky as the jams sold at Taylor's General Store. Jade Gentry is a young girl whose past will not control her future even if it cost her everything. Gripping and suspenseful, Jade will leave you sighing when she sighs, running when she runs, and celebrating when she is triumphant!

Meet an odd cast of characters, including kindly Miss Ellen, a superstitious woman who plants corn in front of her living room window, Renée, a peculiar woman who instinctively knows the deep hidden secrets of Jade, and a schoolteacher who begins the process of Polishing Jade.

©2013 It's All About Him Inc (P)2015 It's All About Him Inc

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BITTERSWEET

"Polishing Jade" was a very sweet and meaningful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's set in a small farming community in Braxton, Mississippi, population 32. Jade's real name is Clara Marie but her mother called her Jade for her big, dark green gemmy eyes. This story was also a gem. I was impressed by the almost poetic, colorful prose as well as the depth of the characters in contrast to the length of the audiobook.

Whenever she finds herself in a sticky situation with nowhere to go, she turns to Miss Ellen who scoops her right up and takes care of her. Her mom is gone and her dad remarries a selfish woman. With her brother Johnny having moved to Kansas to live with their uncle, she decides to move there also because back home, no one would ever understand her secret.

This is a stunning book that will keep you listening straight through. Written by Tekoa Manning and narrated by Felisha Caldeira, this one goes into my 'favorite' category. I would definitely recommend scooping this one up.

Felisha Caldeira is an Amazing narrator. One of the best I've heard with her southern drawl. Her voice epitomizes Jade and really brings her character to life. Her performance was flawless and I hope to listen to more of her work in the future. The author as well. An outstanding job.

Audiobook received in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Captivating and Inspiring!

Polishing Jade is a compelling story that engages many of the social tensions at work in 1960's America. It invites readers on the difficult but rewarding journey of a young woman faced with seemingly insurmountable circumstances. While emotionally gripping, this narrative inspires hope in the midst of despair and faith in the midst of adversity. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I related to the situations portrayed by Tekoa Manning. This book will capture your heart, challenge your assumptions, and help you appreciate the polished jade in your own life.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the extraordinary performance of Felisha Caldeira. Her entrancing voice makes the characters of Polishing Jade come to life and her incredible acting will draw you ever deeper into this captivating story. Caldeira has not only helped me hear this book, she has helped me feel it. I am eager to listen to more of her narration in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Recommended to those who enjoy faith-based stories

4.25 ★ Audiobook⎮ The Christian Lit. genre isn’t something I normally gravitate towards, so I didn’t really know what to expect from Polishing Jade. I’m glad that I knew it was a faith-based story when beginning it or I would have been rather taken aback at the prominent role religion played in the plot. It’s not something heavily featured in most mainstream novels. I think the genre is important to keep in mind when reviewing this because there were several elements of the story that I might not have as readily accepted if this was supposed to be anything other than Christian Lit.


The first 85% of the story could have possibly passed as mainstream contemporary fiction, but as the story drew to a close, the religious themes became more intensive. The underlying messages about teenage sex, pregnancy, and adoption didn’t always sit well with me. While I understand and respect that these are valid viewpoints, they didn’t completely harmonize with my beliefs.

I think it’s important for potential readers/listeners, especially those not accustomed to Christian fiction, to be prepared for the possibility that their opinions may be challenged.

However, if I were to view this from the perspective of someone who greatly enjoys Christian literature, it would likely be seen as a heart-warming, “feel-good” story of faith and redemption. Jade was a very likable, relatable character. I was definitely rooting for her. This was an enjoyable story that was surprisingly light, especially considering the rather “heavy” themes discussed. It left me with the same sort of emotions I usually have after watching a Hallmark movie.

Obviously, I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys Christian literature and faith-based stories. To anyone else, this story could be seen as having several “problematic” elements, but I won’t go into those because the story was clearly intended for a certain audience and I believe that audience has a higher chance of appreciating the story than I did.

To be clear: I liked it fine. It was a good story. I’m just not sure I’m capable of fully appreciating it the way it was intended, if that makes sense.

Narration review: Felisha Caldeira absolutely embodied Jade Gentry. Felisha’s voice, along with the cover model combined to give me an incredibly clear mental image of Jade as the protagonist. This was my first experience with Felisha as narrator and she definitely impressed me. I don’t think I have ever heard another narrator with a voice like hers. I wasn’t immediately sure that I would like it, but it soon became clear that her narration style fit the main character “to a T”.

Not only did her style fit the character, but I also think it enhanced my understanding of her in a way that eloquently complemented the writing. Caldeira’s Southern accent was soft, slow, and pleasing to the ear. Her character distinction was subtle and unobtrusive. I greatly enjoyed her performance! ♣︎

➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Felisha Caldeira, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Felisha!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story! Extremely well read!

If you could sum up Polishing Jade in three words, what would they be?

captivating, draws you in right away

What was one of the most memorable moments of Polishing Jade?

The scene on the bus

Which character – as performed by Felisha Caldeira – was your favorite?

Definitely Jade

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There are so many emotions while listening to this book. Felisha does a great job drawing you in while she reads it.

Any additional comments?

Please narrate more books Felisha!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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solid tale with Christian elements

Any additional comments?

(I received a free copy of the audible version for an honest review)

Polishing Jade is a story of a girl who finds comfort in her religion while facing one hardship after another. The title is more than appropriate. Yes, Jade begins as an innocent. The stormy times in her life rip that away, leaving her raw and exposed. The people that come into her life and bless her, leave her shining and beautiful by the end.

This story is a contradiction to the more contemporary settings where the female protagonist seems to invite more and more drama into the story just to pull the reader along. Actually, I don’t know if that is a sign of the times. Once, a girl could call on her Faith, be guided by good Samaritans, and have the ease of trusting others. Now, similar stories drive the protagonist to make questionable safety and unsteady ethical choices, which while making an interesting tale, does not give the reader any sense that the world around them is safe.

In these times, where the public looks upon the South as violent rednecks, it is refreshing to be reminded of a time and place where stories like these were much more common. “Southern Hospitality” is a matter of pride, and has been for a very long time. Polishing Jade shows us that where there are hard times (pretty much no matter where you are) there are special people out there willing to help.

The narrator has a soft, general southern accent. It is not indicative of a specific place in the south. Speaking as someone from Mississippi where some accents can feel like nails on a chalkboard, Felisha Caldeira does a good job keeping an even keel throughout her performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Trish
  • DECATUR, GEORGIA, United States
  • 07-26-15

Stunning, beautiful, poignant coming of age story

If you could sum up Polishing Jade in three words, what would they be?

What a great book for all ages! My 14 year old daughter and I listened to this book at eh same time and didn't put it down. Polishing Jade is a coming of age story set in the 60s in the South, where races are still segregated. This book does have mature content, so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under age 13. Everything happens to Jade--she's poor, has a father who drinks too much, a sick mom, and an adult who gives her too much "attention".Author Ms. MAnning does a masterful job of defining Jade's character as vulnerable yet strong and determined; the narrator does a phenomenal job of voicing all characters, but especially Jade.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jade was the most prominent voice in this book, and really well developed. That said, all characters were terrific. I particularly liked the woman who took in Jade when she left home.

Which scene was your favorite?

What I loved the most about this book was its beauty in its simplicity. The language is simple yet very descriptive and thus did a beautiful job of seeing Jade in the south in the 60s.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

My favorite scene was at then end, when Jade gets her fairytale ending (no spoilers here!).

Any additional comments?

It's a terrific listen for anyone intrigued by the South in the 60s.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved this reader!

I love the reader in this book! Felt like I was part of the story! Great listening!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Compassionate story

If you could sum up Polishing Jade in three words, what would they be?

Story of strength.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jade. Jade was so strong to survive all that she had to endure. She showed great strength to endure first her father, then her abuser, and then to be so alone. You can't help but admire her determination.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The thing I liked best is also the thing I disliked, and it may have been done on purpose. The reader brought a monosyllabic tone to her reading, which would accurately portray the state of mind Jade likely would have been in, but which also made it difficult to listen to. It seems to improve later in the story.

If you could take any character from Polishing Jade out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The father, so I could poison his food, and I'd make sure he brought the girlfriend along.

Any additional comments?

This was truly a great story of a young, abused girl, who has to learn the hard way that life isn't always fair. I can't say much without giving away the plot, but Jade will have to stand on her own if she is going to survive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully captured

This is a story of hope. Everyone struggles, everyone goes through pain, yet most of us try to hide it because it is not the "american" way of success. Books like this, that are so brutally honest and real, is what the world needs. Polishing Jade follows a girl who goes through some terrible tragedies, but continues on to find herself with the help of community and the hand of God. Beautiful book, and I highly recommend it.

The narration is just as brilliant as the book itself. As an avid audiobook listener, I tend to be a little critical about narrators, but while listening to Polishing Jade I could not pick out anything negative about the narration. Felisha Caldeira does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, and portraying the varying emotions of the characters. This is Felisha's first audiobook recording, and I'm sure it wont be the last. Felisha, you have a fan in me!

Overall, I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who needs a little encouragement.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring Salvation Journey

Set in the South in 1960s, this book covers some tough life events and the mistakes that a young woman makes as she navigates through an abusive. Tekoa Manning has brought to life a cast of characters that are as flawed and magnificent as the people who might have lived through this turbulent tale with an insight that is honest, inspiring and touching - the story is heartwarming. Life is messy and painful - yet there is hope and love. The metaphor of polishing a stone is quite apropos to the story.
Please give it a listen. Narrator Felicia Caldeira turns in a spot on performance as Jade, nailing the dialect and inflection, breathing life into the story and each character. Honestly, I could listen to recipe books narrated by Felisha - she's that good!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful