I was initially going to do a write up of Ms. Elle Jarreau because as the main character, she is significant. In addition to that, there was just so much growth in her character throughout the novel...BUT I just COULD NOT stop thinking about Jackson (Mr. Jackson, if you’re nasty) after I finished reading the book. Because although he wasn’t THE main character, I believe that he was responsible for most of Elle’s growth. Without him, there just wouldn’t have been a story.
Y’all listen, Jackson Q. Hunter is a BLACK KING and I just feel like I need to praise a black king when I see (well, in this case, read) one. In the beginning I wasn’t so sure about Jackson because of his lack of commitment. His one-night stand and “agreement” proposition with Elle kinda had me side eyeing him. But I realized something. Homeboy had been honest from the get-go! I think, for the most part, that’s what all women want. We just want a partner that’s going to be upfront about the situation and that’s exactly what he did. Not once did he lead her on, and that within itself, should be praised. After all, honesty is hard to come by these days.
We all know that most times, sex DOES NOT COME WITHOUT STRINGS. Nine times outta ten, somebody is gonna catch feelings. In this story, both of them did, but it was the way Jackson handled it that made me fall in love with him. He knew that Elle had demons and wasn’t quite ready to come to terms with them. One of the ways that ran from her demons was detaching emotionally. So, when Jackson wanted more than sex from her, he kept it to himself, only giving Elle what she could emotionally handle, even if her needs did not mirror his. CAN YOU SAY SELFLESSNESS?! Too many times in real life and in the fictional world, we are confronted with selfishness in these men, but Jackson? Whew, it was so refreshing to read about a black man who was totally concerned and invested in the needs of his woman. I mean, just look at how he describes the effect she has on him:
“....but there was something more in your eyes. I knew and still feel there is something deep within you that is akin to something deep within me. It’s always been in your eyes: they mirror the desolation in my mind. They call to the ghosts that have taken residence in my soul.”
Perhaps the most significant thing about Jackson was the way he inflicted change within Elle. Before experiencing Jackson (because Jackson is a whole experience, hunny), Elle was completely content with who she was and how she was living her life—ALONE. But Jackson lit a fire within her and sparked all kinds of feelings she didn’t even know she had. She ran from his love...ran all the way to California from New York, but when she felt like she was truly going to lose him, she CHANGED and for the better. Homegirl went to counseling, came to terms with her traumatizing past, and faced the demons she had worked so hard to overlook. And honestly, that’s what all women want. We want a man that is worth changing for. A man that gives more than he takes. A man that will protect your heart before worrying about his. A man like Jackson Q. Hunter...Mr. Jackson if you’re nasty.