Thirteen-year-old Layla Jay was only pretending when she knelt before the preacher to seek salvation. She was hoping to make her grandma happy and get noticed by the cute new boy in town. But religion truly piques her interest when a young, handsome visiting preacher stays at her family's home. Wallace seems genuinely interested in Layla Jay's life...until he meets her mama and falls head over heels, like many men have before him.
When Wallace marries Frieda, Layla Jay believes she will finally have the father she's always wanted. But it seems that none of her dreams will come true, as Layla Jay wrestles with her mother's reckless ways, her unsavory stepfather, a best friend's betrayal, and the longing for love's first kiss. Yet everything pales in comparison to what happens next, as Layla Jay is forced to tell a lie to save her mother's world from crashing down.
"One of those quietly absorbing stories that draw the listener right in and never let go....Listening [to] this novel is like sitting on a porch in a summer breeze listening to an old friend tell you a story you know well but can't wait to hear again." (New Orleans Times Picayune)
This novel is the perfect story about a girl coming of age in the “real south.” We’ve all been pre-teens, dealing with the expectations of the church, while protecting our drunk parents, being afraid of our inappropriate step parents, not knowing how to act with our advancing gay friends, and the list goes on. This story is a true as the day is long. You will laugh, cry, get mad, and even get turned on a bit. I loved it, and would recommend it to anybody!