The Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty

In the Sixties The Beatles sing All You Need is Love while naive Texan Jill Novak realizes love requires more than just a song when her husband vanishes, leaving her to support their two-year-old daughter. Afflicted with planning deficit disorder and needing to put cornflakes on the table, desperate small town Jill soon morphs into sophisticated big city Cherie. In Houston, Cherie encounters a rogue’s gallery of strange, wonderful and sometimes dangerous characters: a suave salesman who turns brutal, an Annie Oakley wannabe whose inept roping tricks leave a trail of broken glass, a walleyed girl whose peepers inevitably park on men’s private parts, and a warped neighbor who lurks around every corner in Cherie’s world. But it is two men—a mysterious gambler and a crude intellectual, alike in their love for Jill-Cherie—who accompany her thirty year journey into the 21st Century and womanhood.