Hadley & Grace by Suzanne Redfearn
Published by Lake Union Publishing ISBN 9781542014380
Trade paperback, $14.95, 347 pages (Free on Kindle Unlimited)
Author Suzanne Redfearn combined two things she loves- the movie Thelma & Louise and a biography called Have a Home Run Day! (about Skipper Carrillo, whose spirit and love of baseball inspired her fictional character of 8 year-old Skipper) in her new novel, Hadley & Grace.
Grace is a young mom to a baby whose husband Jimmy is away in the military. She is upset to discover that Jimmy's gambling problem has returned, and he cleared out their small bank account. The one thing that may save her is that she closed a big deal for her boss, Frank, who owns parking garages and lots.
Frank promised her a big bonus if she could close the deal, but when she does, he refuses to pay her what she is owed. He knows that Grace has had a hard upbringing and has done time in jail, so he takes advantage of her situation.
Frank's wife Hadley has been hiding the abuse she has been taking from Frank from her 14 year-old daughter Mattie, and eight year-old nephew Skipper, until the day Frank loses his temper in front of the children. Hadley decides that she must leave Frank, but she must be secretive about it.
Hadley and Grace each end up at Frank's office one night, both intending to steal cash that Frank has hidden in his safe. Grace only wants what she is owed, but when they discover both each other and the huge amount of cash Frank has in his safe, the situation changes.
Hadley badly sprains her ankle, and Grace ends up driving her back to her hotel. The women now realize that Frank must be into something seriously illegal to have that much cash on hand and he will want it back.
When Grace takes Hadley to the hospital to take care of her foot, they find FBI agents are looking for them. Reluctantly they team up with three children on the run from both Frank and the FBI agents.
Hadley & Grace is a story of the friendship that develops between two very different women who grow to depend on each other. Being on the run adds a thrilling, tense dimension to the plot, which is very cinematic and I could see as a Lifetime movie. If you are a fan of the NBC series, Good Girls, you'll enjoy this book, where as Hadley says, "one decision leads to the next and then the next, a continual stumbling forward over each past mistake until you find yourself someplace entirely different from where you started or from where you intended to go."
I liked the character development, and the character of Skipper, the young boy who is on the spectrum, is my favorite. He relates everything to baseball, and his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers. Even Frank has one redeeming quality- he is kind to Skipper.
There were a few things I found a little farfetched- the relationship that develops between the FBI agent and Hadley, and when the group goes to a crowded country western restaurant while on the run from the FBI. That was an odd choice, although now that we have all been cooped up almost a year during this pandemic we may be able to better understand that decision.
Overall, Hadley & Grace is a good novel to wile away an afternoon, with interesting characters put into a dangerous situation. There is a shock towards the end, and the epilogue is terrific, a satisfying ending to their story.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Suzanne Redfearn's tour. The rest of her stops are here: