MMBC – January 2009 selection
Driving Sideways is the first novel for Jess Riley. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and dog. Click here for an author Q&A or visit her blog for entertaining posts!

Added Jan 20: Click here for our author Q&A and here for our discussion (view comments below post)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The Manic Mommies book club selected this for their first 2009 selection and it’s such an entertaining story, great job ladies! This is the story of Leigh, it takes place a year after receiving a kidney transplant. She decides to take a road trip from Wisconsin to California to meet Larry’s family (the donor) and reunite with her mother. She has many stops planned along the way and props for her adventure – she is so excited to use her newly acquired metal detector and kayak. Her plans take a slight turn at a rest stop in Minnesota, when a 17 year old girl named Denise needs a ride to California and joins the adventure.

This story takes place in six days and keeps you on your toes. Each pit stop and overnight stay turn out exactly like they should, which isn’t always what you are expecting. I feel I shouldn’t share any of the details in the pages as I might share something special that you wish you could experience as you read the book (the plot keeps building as the story progresses). I highly recommend this to anyone from book clubs to a vacation read. A must read!

I will be posting an author Q&A and notes from our book discussion the week of January 19th.

Type: Fiction, 320 pages, Trade Paperback
Leigh Fielding wants a life. Seriously. Having spent the past five years on dialysis, she has one simple wish: to make it to her thirtieth birthday. Now, thanks to the generosity of the late Larry Resnick and his transplanted kidney, it looks like her wish may come true.

With her newfound vitality (and Larry’s kidney) in tow, Leigh hits the road for an excursion that will carry her from Wisconsin to California, with a few stops in between: Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Rockies, Las Vegas–and a memorable visit to thank Larry’s family for the second chance.

Yet Leigh’s itinerary takes a sudden detour when she picks up a seventeen-year-old hitchhiker, Denise, a runaway with a bunch of stories and a couple of secrets. Add a long-lost mother, a loaded gun, an RV full of swingers, and Hall and Oates’s Greatest Hits to the mix, and Driving Sideways becomes a hilarious and original journey of friendship, hope, and discovery.

“Driving Sideways is a gorgeous novel . . . hugely entertaining and very touching. Jess Riley’s voice is irreverent and wonderful, and her writing is genius.” –Marian Keyes, author of Anybody Out There?

"A hopeful and hilarious debut ... Jess Riley may well be my new favorite author." –Jen Lancaster, author of Bitter is the New Black

“Brilliant . . . Jess Riley proves herself a huge new talent.”–Kristy Kiernan, author of Catching Genius