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Jenny Blake has a theory about life: big decisions often don't amount to much, but little decisions sometimes transform everything. Her theory proves true the summer of 1955, when 14-year-old Jenny makes the decision to pick up a penny imbedded in asphalt, and consequently ends up stopping a robbery, getting a job, and meeting a friend who changes her life forever.
Jenny and Miss Shaw form a friendship that dares both of them to confront secrets in their pasts--secrets that threaten to destroy them. Jenny helps Miss Shaw open up to the community around her, while Miss Shaw teaches Jenny to meet even life's most painful challenges with confidence and faith. This unexpected relationship transforms both characters in ways neither could have anticipated, and the ripple effect that begins in the summer of the penny goes on to bring new life to the people around them, showing how God works in the smallest details. Even in something as small as a penny.
Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind), a Christian motivational speaker and bestselling nonfiction author, and inspirational fiction's Bedford (Remember Me) are the newest inspirational one-two punch with this novel that pairs Bedford's solid writing with Meyer's popular ministry messages. Set in St. Louis in the racial hotbed of the mid-1950s, the story's protagonist is the sexually abused adolescent, Jenny Blake. "All my life has been shaped by other people's hands. Daddy slapping me, Mama never hugging me, Jean pointing a finger of criticism at me...." When Jenny picks up a penny in the street, she sets off a chain of events that results in her working for the mysterious Miss Opal Shaw, who teaches her the importance of unconditional love, grace, patience and forgiveness. Bedford has a penchant for similes, but crafts some memorable phrases, such as when Jenny's best friend teaches her how to dance: "Move like you're writing cursive on the wall with your backside." The penny motif is used throughout in believable and sometimes less believable ways, as is a Grace Kelly metaphor. Meyer fans will easily recognize her themes of overcoming difficulties and shame through God's love and positive thinking. A film version's late 2007 release should help ensure that this book receives plenty of attention.