Dancing on the Edge of the Roof
By Sheila Williams
At forty-one, Juanita Lewis is running away from home, courtesy of a one-way ticket to Montana, a place that seems about as far away from the violence and poverty of the Columbus, Ohio, projects as the moon. She wants adventure and excitement -- if such things exist for a pre-menopausal African American woman with three grown, deadbeat children.
Juanita’s new life in Paper Moon, Montana, begins at a local diner where a culinary face-off with chef and owner Jess Gardiner finds Juanita in front of Jess’s stove serving up home cookin’ that lures the townsfolk like a magic spell. And suddenly Juanita, who was just passin’ through, now has a job by popular demand.
Out here in this wide-open space, Juanita’s heart can no longer hide, especially when she sees herself through the eyes of the wonderful and eccentric people of this down-to-earth town. She’s happy in Paper Moon; she’s found a home, but can she stay? And then there’s Jess. She has always dreamed of romance, but she never planned on falling in love.
Williams has written a delightful debut about a 42-year-old African American woman, Juanita Louis, who is fed up with her life in Columbus, Ohio. Her oldest son is in jail, her middle son is a drug dealer, and her daughter is the mother of a 13-month-old girl, Teishia. When Juanita begins reading romance novels, she longs for another life that just might include some of the reverie she discovered in those stories. Juanita quits her job, leaves her children, and buys a one-way bus ticket to Paper Moon, Montana. Her new adventure begins after she enters the local diner only to learn the breakfast she craves is not on the menu. Juanita takes over the kitchen, and soon everyone in the town is requesting her home cooking and she is employed and at peace. Juanita only meant to pass through Paper Moon on her journey to excitement. Yet, to her surprise, she found romance and love in that small town just like she had set out to discover; and readers will discover a delightful yarn. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association.
From Amazon Books 11/11/11