This one was quite a surprise… It started off painfully and ended up as a joy ride!
As the story starts a young woman, Valerie, attends her class of ’92 high school re-union and seeks revenge for something that happened to her in the Fall of 1991. She gets her revenge – in a violent and disturbing way – then heads out to find her former (much less popular in high school) friend Addie Downs.
For the first quarter of this 359-page story I did not think that I’d be able to finish it. The content was a bit disturbing and the characters were not likeable. Then, at some point, we began to focus on the uniquely wacky My Fox Chicago News Team weather girl Valerie Adler. That’s when the real fun begins. We also get to know and identify with the true main character Addie Downs, a woman who at one time was easily two or three times her current weight.
The two friends, knowing that Val is a likely crime suspect, take off together from the small town of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois south toward Key Largo, Florida. At some point, it dawns on the reader that they’re on a journey for the things they need in life. Val needs respect (“You know what the average age of a My Fox viewer is? Dead.”) and Addie needs the male life-partner that she’s never found.
Add to the mix a young and broken-hearted police chief (Jordan Novick) who sets out to find the women on their run from the law, and several former misfits from the old high school – some of whom may be seeking forgiveness and redemption. It all adds up to a recipe for a rollicking good ride down the highway of life.
To be continued… (part one of two parts)