A harmless request from an old but quirky retired actress ends up with Spence journeying through small towns in Ontario to complete an unfulfilled mission of hers while being chased by gang members. Spence is a teenage boy who plans on going to film school in the fall. His grandfather has just passed away and he and his family attend the reading of his grandfather's will. In his will, his grandfather asks him to get a kiss from the famous old-time actress Gloria Lorraine for him. He wants him to film it and make a movie out of it. Spence is confused but also curious as to what sort of history his grandpa had with the actress. He visits Gloria Lorraine at an old folk's home. Gloria turns out to be quite a wild character and immediately demands that Spence help her do an errand before she will kiss him on the cheek. Spence is made to drive Gloria' white Cadillac (which was idling in front of the old folk's home) to pick up a girl named AmberLea who is her granddaughter. AmberLea tells Spence that her grandma is a little bit bonkers and that the white Cadillac isn't even her car. Once they pick up some things from the grocery store, they pop open the trunk of the Cadillac to find a man and a Chihuahua, bound and gagged along with packages of white powder. Gloria frisks the man and finds a real gun. After freeing the man, he introduces himself as Al Capoli, King of Cannoli – a baker. The white powder is apparently just icing sugar. Gloria bullies him into letting them use his car.
The groups end up going to Toronto, Canada. At Gloria's urging, Spence begins to film random moments of their escapade. On their travels, Al reveals that he's on the run and he changes the license plate of his Cadillac. He explains that he was supposed to pick up the packages for the gang leader, Rocco Wings, except the delivery guy didn't show up and now he's in trouble with Rocco. They find a GPS transmitter attached to the Cadillac that they think Rocco installed and Gloria puts it on a police cruiser to lead Rocco astray. All the while, Spence thinks he's on some elaborate scheme his grandfather has set up for him. Gloria finally shows them to her secret cottage in the woods. There, they recuperated for a few days while Gloria tells them her mysterious plan to travel to a town called Jackfish on Lake Superior. As the days pass, Spence begins to suspect that no one really knows what's going on except Gloria. Spence discovers an alternate letter from his grandfather telling him that if Gloria is dead, he must go to a ghost town called Jackfish to film it. Gloria keeps hinting that she has some unfinished business she wants to finish in Jackfish before she dies.
In a town near Jackfish, Gloria meets an old man named Mike who is half-addled from a stroke. After talking to Mike, Gloria reveals that she's Mike's sister. Gloria explains that her family used to run a hotel in Jackfish and that was where she met Spence's grandfather. Apparently, Gloria was pregnant with a baby but the father had just died in a boating accident. Gloria was desperate to leave town because she knew she wouldn't be accepted by her parents or her society for having a child out of wedlock. Spence's grandfather gave her the money she needed to get out of Jackfish. Later on, Gloria gets involved in the movie industry and becomes a great success. But, she always remembered Spence's grandfather and his generosity.
Gloria tells Spence to come and film her as she visits the grave site of the father of her child. Al drives them there in his Cadillac. After getting out of the Cadillac, they witness a showdown between two gangs. One led by Rocco, and another motorcycle gang. They fight over possession of Al's Cadillac and the white icing sugar. Spence thinks he can pretend to clear up the situation between the two gangs by telling them the white powder is nothing but icing sugar, however he gets himself in more trouble with both gangs. AmberLea steps in, pretending to film the whole thing with her camera and telling everyone that she's live streaming it to the authorities. The motorcyclists flee. Al tells Rocco that the delivery guy never gave him the goods and the white powder was just sugar and he is forgiven. The story ends with Gloria kissing Spencer on the cheek to finally fulfill his the requirements of his grandfather's will.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like that the story is so wacky and wild. I specifically like the character of Gloria who is confusing not only because she's old and might be half-addled but also because she has such a commanding personality and such mysterious and random requests.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Spence pops open the trunk of the Cadillac to put away the groceries and he sees Al Canoli and his Chihuahua. I thought it was hilarious how Al Canoli introduces himself and how Gloria frisks the man and then over-dramatizes the whole event by claiming that the icing sugar packs are packs of drugs.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that Spence was willing to suspend his disbelief for so long. It made the story more interesting and the adventure more fun for the reader. It was funny when Spence realizes that what he's experiencing is real and not something his grandfather orchestrated to entertain him.