I love the cover of this novel. Every time I see it in a bookstore, I pick it up, even though it's already on my bedside table, patiently waiting its turn after Garden Spells and Reconstructing Brigid. And Evening Class by the joy that is Maeve Binchy. I went through a phase ten years ago where I read everything by Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher, and now I remember why.
DRIVING SIDEWAYS is the debut novel by the talented and very nice Jess Riley . Says one of my favorite authors, international superstar Marian Keyes, "Driving Sideways is a gorgeous novel. I loved it!"
So what's it about?
Cellular Memory: Is it possible for our organs to retain our energy if donated to another person?
Can we really channel someone else’s tastes in music, food, or hobbies?
And what happens if you’ve had a transplant and simply CONVINCE yourself this is true?
Jess used these questions as the premise of her entertaining debut novel Driving Sideways, which tells the story of Leigh Fielding, a twenty-eight year-old kidney transplant recipient who—six years, hundreds of dialysis sessions, and a million bad poems after being diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease—finally feels strong enough to pursue a few lofty goals she’s been mulling for years: find herself, her kidney donor’s family, and the mother that abandoned her over twenty years ago.
And what better way to do just that than a solitary road trip across the country? Well, maybe not entirely solitary, because Leigh suspects she may have inherited more than just an organ from her deceased donor. It’s this sneaking suspicion that takes her trip down some unexpected detours—and the juvenile delinquent who blackmails Leigh into giving her a ride is only the beginning.
Driving Sideways (Random House, May 2008) just went into its second printing and has been hailed as ‘hugely entertaining and genius’ by Marian Keyes, and “a hopeful and hilarious debut” by New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster.
BIO: When she’s not reading or writing fiction, Jess Riley is reading or writing school grant proposals—which some would say are still pretty fictitious. Jess lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with her husband and their neurotic terrier. Driving Sideways is her first novel, and she’s hard at work on her next.
Check out Jess Riley's website!