Jenna is only 16, but she is older than her years. She has to deal with an alcohol-addicted father who has abandoned the family, but drops in unexpectedly every few months to wreak havoc. To help support her mom and younger sister, she takes a job in a shoe store. There she develops a talent for finding the perfect pair of quality shoes for each person who walks in the door.
Mrs. Gladstone, the elderly owner of the shoe-store chain, is impressed with Jenna’s work, and recruits her as a driver for a six-week trip around the country to check up on all her stores. At first Jenna is intimidated by her boss, but it doesn’t take long before she joins her in trying to save the business from a hostile takeover by none other than the owner’s son.
I enjoyed the back-and-forth banter of the conversations during the road trip, and the strong female characters in the book. It’s not often you find a book about inter-generational friendship and respect. Women of all ages will enjoy this novel.
I let Mrs. Gladstone in the back and gently shut the door like it was holy. Mrs. Gladstone nodded to me, which I guess meant I could now get inside the car. I squeezed behind the wheel. Mrs. Gladstone pointed at a button near the dashboard. I pressed it. My seat adjusted perfectly.
I checked the mirrors, the dashboard monitor, buckled my seat belt. I felt like I was in a tank.
She sniffed. “Start the motor.”
I fumbled with the key, started the engine, put the car in reverse, and decided not to ask if she was a praying person.
“Here we go,” I said, inching the huge car backwards.
“Freeze!” she shrieked.
I slammed on the brake.
“I believe it’s customary to open the garage door before backing out of it!”
“Sorry, Mrs. Gladstone…I’m kind of nervous.”
“Press the button on the control board.”
I pressed it. The garage door went up.
“Proceed,” she said stiffly. “And may God Almighty be merciful.”
“Amen,” I said and slowly backed the white beast up the driveway onto Astor Street.