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Hope with a Past

             "You suppose if a wound goes real deep, the healing can hurt almost as bad as what caused it?" Percy Talbot was sentenced to five years for manslaughter and has just been released from prison. With no home or family to speak of Percy, she chooses to stay in Maine and relocate to the small town of Gilead. Percy arrives in the middle of a winter's night under the observant eyes of the skeptical citizens. They immediately begin to investigate on her background, with word of her criminal past spreading quickly. There the Sheriff gets her a job and a place to stay at The Spitfire Grill, run by a bitter and wary old lady named Hanna. Soon after Percy begins working at the Grill, Hannah injures her leg and is temporarily unable to run the restaurant. Suspicious of Percy, and eager to take control of the situation, Hannah's nephew Nahum, suggests that Percy should be sent on her way. Resentful of Nahum's meddling, Hannah insists Percy can manage the restaurant while she recuperates. As she works there, she comes to know co-worker Shelby Goddard, who is labeled as 'not to smart' by everyone, including her bossy husband Nahum and a nice neighborhood boy who's sweet on her, Joe. Percy recommends that Hannah advertise a nationwide contest, in which $100 and the most convincing essay on the powers of Gilead will win the writer full ownership of the Spitfire Grill. Hannah decides it's worth a shot. As the contest kicks into full-throttle, unfavorable opinions emerge. As Percy, Hanna, and Shelby form a friendship unlike any they've ever experienced, deep secrets are slowly revealed. Among them are the circumstances of Percy's dark past, which led to her incarceration, as well as Hannah's mysterious visitor who regularly picks up a sack of canned goods, left out at night behind the grill. Percy also discovers why Hannah has been looking to sell the Spitfire Grill for so many years. "The Spitfire Grill" by Lee David Zlotoff is a surprising story of a young woman's search for a new direction in her life and to help those around her find independence from the old wounds that they carry, and find worth in what they had long considered worthless.

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