Gertie is a cantankerous single woman in her golden years who disliked everyone except her dog. Well, if she loved her dog, I knew she was redeemable. Gertie liked her small town but felt it could be better and since no one else was doing it, she took on the job of pointing out all the flaws, errors and problems to those who made them, and to the sheriff. The townsfolk tolerated her, but boy, they didn’t like her.
Gertie and her best friend when she was about thirteen were both from terribly dysfunctional families, and her friend was taken into foster care at that time, and the girls never saw each other again. Gertie wrote to her several times, but never received an answer back, and finally gave up.
One night, an intruder comes into Gertie’s yard. Intrepid Gertie goes out to see who it is and finds it is her friend, who is now an escaped convict from a nearby prison. But Gertie is mad that the friend never contacted her, and calls the sheriff, who takes the friend back into custody.
But Gertie learns (I forget how) that her friend’s life was difficult, and she ran away from the foster home and gathered up her four siblings from other foster homes and tried to raise them herself, mainly by stealing, filching, shoplifting and dumpster diving. She was caught stealing food, and because of a corrupt and stupid defense attorney, was pronounced guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison. At 38 years in, the friend broke out of prison.
When Gertie learns all this, she is determined to get the friend released, and enlists the aid of the young deputy who is the only one who tried to befriend her, coming weekly to talk to her about his local church. One week, cookies appear on her porch, 12 plates, each with a damning Bible verse.
And so beings the story of Gertie and the deputy, and as in all good stories, a lot is not what it seems. Every one has secrets, and a lot of disparate story threads begin to gradually come together, and you will have to read it to find out how Gertie got redeemed and it has nothing to do with church.
It’s about kindness, compassion, pain, and the daily struggles of all we meet. Such a nice read, almost made me forget for a while who was the current president of the USA.