When life throws you lemons…
At mile marker 139 along the Ohio Turnpike, a mysterious woman named Shelley Parkinson arrives at 3:14 at the rest area every night. She sits outside at one of the picnic tables, her fragile hands clutching one cigarette after another. Troubled people swirl around her, battling their own sorrows.
Gruff old janitor Mike Popkins works third shift at the facility and has been lost since his wife died, cutting himself off from his only son and going through the motions of his job. Idealistic young Sarah Wilcox whips up drinks at the happening new coffee shop at the rest stop, but her mind whips of dreams of traveling the world and living the life her late grandpa did as he drank a coffee on all corners of the globe. Heartbroken middle-aged trucker Russ Jacobs would rather spend long hours on the road than fall in love again. They all befriend Shelley. Each one desires something different, but none of them know why she haunts the rest area.
Unexpected death, disease, and accidents force Mike, Sarah, and Russ to make hard decisions to move forward, ripping them from their pasts. Can these three motley friends find healing in their own lives and help a woman who says she doesn’t need anyone, even as her brokenness spills onto them?
The whole story centers around a rest area at mile marker 139, along the Ohio Turnpike. Every night Shelley Parkinson arrives at the same time, just sitting outside at a picnic table.
Janitor Mike Popkins works the third shift at the rest area, being lost since the death of his wife.
Sarah Wilcox had big dreams but since losing her beloved grandfather, she is struggling with getting her life right on track. Trying to at least have something in her life, she works in a coffe shop at the same area.
And trucker Russ Jacobs stops regularly there during his journeys. He is adamant to never fall in love again, as he is still heart-broken.
All these persons have nothing in common, except seeing each other at the rest area. Slowly, out of concern or curiosity, they befriend separately Shelley. But Shelley herself is not ready to share her story with strangers…
But when she realizes that these strangers truly care about her, she starts opening up. The blooming friendship gives also the other ones an opportunity to process their grieve and go on with their lives…
Again an amazing story! I am not unfamiliar with Cynthia her writings, so I knew from the start it would be not ‘just’ a story.
While reading you get to know each character, learning what they have been trough in the past, and how they are surviving at the moment.
It also teaches you, that with the right people in your life, you can find a way to put the past behind you.
Of course, trusting totally strangers is not the obvious things to do, but you also have to give them the chance of proving their genuine concerns.
Shelley is the center of the story, but thanks to her, all the other characters become friends of each other.
It’s hard to explain what this story made me feel, as it was giving hope, but also it made me sad when I realized what each one of them went through and still is going through…
But the main message in this story is: you can find friendship in the weirdest places, but it doesn’t matter where you meet them. As long as their friendship is genuine, they will have your back no matter what your past was. Because real friends stick together, no matter how long you know each other!
And with the right kind of support, it is always possible to put the past behind you and start living your life again!