May 5, 2014
Bestselling British author Moyes (Me Before You) blends a sobering commentary on the widening gap between haves and have-nots into this quirky tale of lopsided families finding the courage to love. Jess, barely able to make ends meet as a house cleaner after her husband, Marty, walks out, enlists the help of rich client Ed to drive her math-genius daughter Tanzie to a competition. If Tanzie wins, the prize will be enough to pay for her to attend a top-notch school. Along with Jess’s Goth stepson, Nicky, who is Marty’s son, and the slobbering family dog, Norman, the misfits cram into Ed’s car for an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking adventure. With side trips to visit Ed’s dying father and Jess’s now-estranged husband, the travelers learn to reconcile with pasts they can’t change and futures they’re afraid to imagine. “Good things happen to good people,” Jess insists. “You just have to keep faith.” There’s never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It’s exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown.