I guess I expected something more comedic from Delia Ephron, but maybe it's her sister I'm thinking of. Three women find themselves stranded in a small town after crashing their car and having no money to pay for repairs. Lana and Tracee have been friends since childhood and are on the run after Tracee steals a couple of high ticket items. Rita meets up with the duo on the highway while they're attempting to fix a flat tire. She's on the run from a stifling husband and marriage.
The three women get jobs in the local bar, whose draw is an aged lion, retired from the circus. Marcel, the lion, becomes a sort of talisman to Rita, who takes the opportunity to transform herself. At the same time, she takes it upon herself to make Marcel's life better. Rita feels such a strong connection to Marcel because she too was living a caged life prior to her escape. No surprise here, Marcel was definitely my favorite character. The book cover shows him on a joyride in a convertible with the women (not an actual scene from the book) and he just looks so regal and peaceful. The cover is the reason I picked up this book.
A sweet story with the predictable life-changing events triggered by three women's search for something better.