A suburban mom takes off on a wild road trip that changes her life and her perspective.
Donna Koczynski was once in a punk rock band, but she gave all that up when she married stable, reliable Joey and had her two children, now teenagers. Now, she’s a saleswoman for a kitchenware company, and she spends most of her days doing cooking demonstrations in malls and homes. She’s also a recovering alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in years, and although her life isn’t perfect, it’s comfortable. That is, until she comes home early from a sales conference to discover that her husband is cheating on her. Distraught and confused, Donna gets in her car and takes off, destination unknown. She finds an old friend she lost touch with, reconnects with a high school sweetheart, and tries her best to avoid taking a sip of alcohol. All the while, she unravels more and more as she runs from her problems and searches desperately for a solution. But when her family needs her, Donna realizes that the answer to her problems may not be where she’s looking—in fact, her problems may not be such big problems after all. Donna’s inner monologue is crude and bracingly honest, which will be refreshing for some readers but off-putting for others. Her increasingly bad decisions as she careens across America are often hard to read. By the time the story enters its third act, Donna has undergone tremendous personal growth, and Gilman’s (The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, 2014, etc.) writing is moving and well-researched. Although the final destination is surprising and worth it, some readers may find it difficult to push through Donna’s frustrating exploits to get there.
A larger-than-life story about a woman who makes drastic decisions in an attempt to get back on track.