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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Dancing on the Edge of the Roof|
|Release Date: 02-19-2009|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Dancing on the Edge of the Roof
When I was forty-two years old, I decided to run away from home. Just pack up and go.
Wouldn't take dishes or nothin', no "household goods," stuff like that. Just my own stuff. What I could get into two suitcases.
Wasn't runnin' away exactly, just movin' on. I wanted to see things I'd never seen before, go places different from here.
I had been here too long.
Wasn't nothin' happenin' here. Not a damn thing.
Sometimes, you hear people say they want to find themselves. Well, I didn't need to do that. I knew where I was. That was the problem.
When I was a kid, I watched the Popeye cartoons on Saturday mornin' before my momma waked up. Swee' Pea, the baby, he was my favorite. He would feel like he wasn't bein' treated right, so he would tie up all his things in a bandanna (like the ones my son Rashawn wears on his head now) and put it on a pole and crawl away, him in his pjs. And he'd see monsters and China and the ocean-the exciting things he'd never seen before.
It was like a big adventure.
That's what I wanted. A big adventure, all my own.
Now, you know there was a lot workin' against me. I'm not what you call educated or nothin' like that. I ain't never been nowhere, don't have much of a life as it is. Got a COTA bus life-I go where the bus go: to work, to the carry-out, then home.
And I'm not the kinda woman that you would think could have adventures. I'm not brave or smart. Not pretty or important. I ain't nobody you ever heard of. Ha! I'll never be anybody you heard of!
And to most folks, I ain't much. But that's OK. I was smart enough to know that I couldn't stay here. Couldn't keep living the sa