Jerking Sodas and Keeping Secrets
Eugie Rose works at her father’s drug store, jerking sodas with her best friend, Reed. In 1950s America, undercurrents of racial unrest are just beginning to rise to the surface. Will they come between those Eugie loves? It all starts the day Reed kisses Eugie’s hand. In that emotional moment, he tells her an awful secret about a mistake his daddy made and can’t fix. That prompts Eugie to share a secret about her mama. In the space of a heartbeat, their relationship changes from bickering buddies to smitten confidants.
Jerking Sodas and Keeping Secrets highlights Reed and Eugie’s shifting relationship when their newfound connection is threatened by a duo of drug dealers who choose Rose Pharmacy as their drug drop. A subtle storm rides in on a pair of brutal crimes. On the outskirts of town, two women are murdered. Teenage curiosity sucks Reed and Eugie into the clandestine investigation. Things they witness and experience that autumn shove them out of their nest of innocence, into a turbulent flight toward adulthood.
Eugie and Reed can’t tell anyone they’re mired in the devilish details of two murders. They’re unofficial deputies, sworn to secrecy by none other than the town sheriff himself. Mary Magee’s suspenseful novel draws on her own youth spent behind the soda fountain of her family’s drug store and beautifully depicts the adventures of two adolescents Jerking Sodas and Keeping Secrets.