The last thing 70-year-old Ed expects when he offers Kristen a ride is to have his life entangled with that of a wannabe country singer.
An odd and unlikely friendship ensues between two strangers on a long road trip. Ed, diagnosed with a terminal illness, is trying to escape his impending demise, and Kristen, 22, her rotten past. After hearing her heartbreaking story, Ed decides to help her emotionally and financially and even agrees to drive her to Las Vegas, where she hopes to make it big. Along the way, Kristen makes a great impression at several karaoke bars, and eventually catches a break in Vegas when she meets Sid, a big-time country music manager looking for a new face. After arranging for Kristen to do a special performance at the hottest nightclub in Vegas, Sid signs her on and guarantees her mega-stardom. Kristen eagerly accepts Sid’s strategy to bypass “paying her dues” and subjects her body and soul to a grueling rehearsal schedule of twelve-hour days. Amazed by Kristen’s dogged determination, Sid sets up a six-city tour, which is an enormous success, making Kristen an overnight sensation. But joy sometimes has an unwelcome component, and Kristen’s happiness is overshadowed by Ed’s deteriorating condition, just as she’s reaching mega-stardom.
Format: 5 x 8 Black & White Paperback, 334 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jun 30, 2023)
Genre: FICTION / Southern