Black-Eyed Susan by Elizabeth Leiknes
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Susan Spector is a walking anomaly. She’s a radio host in her 30s who, despite being totally colorblind, loves rainbows and associates classic songs with color. She has synesthesia, heterochromia, AB negative blood, a leap year birthday, and a general sense of ambivalence when it comes to life. To top it all off, her parents accidentally tell her that she’s adopted.
But Susan has bigger problems. Her affinity for the improbable has struck again; now, she’s diagnosed with a rare and terminal form of lung cancer. With two months to live, she embarks on an impromptu road trip with strangers.
Enter Calliope, (an ex-stripper with a bright orange hearse and a knack for determining destiny), Will (a drunken, out-of-work actor in a suit of armor), Leo (A little lion with a fear of most things), and Eternity (an elderly dachshund who shares Susan’s fate). The companions are guided only by the radio, while being followed by a crazy attorney’s goons (two men in menacing parachute pants who may not have left the 80s), frequent clues to Susan’s past, and a sense of fatal urgency. What follows is absurd, improbable, comical and even surreal, but then again, so is Susan.
Things to do before I die:
Find my birth mother
Have sex with a stranger
Go to a Prom
Go to the circus
Visit a nudist resort
Swim with sharks
Write a novel
This Wizard of Oz inspired road trip will take you to places you never would have expected, and introduce you to characters you’ll never forget. As you jump from one wild incident to the next, all narrated with Susan’s ‘one step too far’ sense of humor, you’ll find yourself laughing and increasingly curious about your destination. But at the core of it all lies time; how much of it we have, how we use it, and how we ignore it.