Twenty one year old Marci Ramirez has a secret project but is unfortunately drafted in as a drug carrier by her community gang. Marci Ramirez suffered a fall as child and as a result wears a leg brace. She lives in a poor, Hispanic community and works as a cashier. She lives with a drunk, abusive father who often accuses her of being a drug addict and prostitute when in reality she is holding down two jobs. The only thing mysterious about Marci is what she does with her money. This mystery is not solved until near the end of the novel. Not even her best friend, Kyle Donahue, knows what she does with her money.
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The community gang leader interrupts Marci's easygoing approach to life when he sends for her. He has a proposition for her which she initially refuses. However, he threatens to hurt the family of the one who is dearest to her, Kyle Donahue, and she gives in to his demands. In addition to her two jobs she is now required to make a drug run a few times per week. She was selected as she wears a leg brace and the gang rightly assumed that "no-one would suspect a cripple". For each run she earns a hundred dollar bonus which she disposes of as her conscience will not allow her to use 'dirty money'. The manner in which she disposes of it is revealed near the end of the novel.
It has not gone unnoticed that the drug problem in the community has increased dramatically and it is a mystery as to how the drugs are being moved around from dealer to dealer. Marci makes a veiled confession to her parish priest but does not give him all the details.
In the midst of all this Marci is having a financial crisis as her secret project requires more money at the last minute. One would have thought that she would use her new earnings from her drug run but she doesn't. Instead she forfeits payment for a new leg brace which she had ordered in order to cover the new financial demand. It is said that 'when it rains it pours' and this is exactly what happens to Marci. Kyle informs her that he has met someone at college and that he intends to marry her. This is like a knife through Marci's heart as she has secretly loved Kyle as more than a friend since she was fourteen years old. As any good friend would do, she wishes him all the best.
Marci is on one of her drug runs when Mary Jo (from the previous novel) hands her a coin at the bus stop. She simply tells her to read the words and follow the instructions. The coin somehow empowers Marci and she devises a plan to solve all her issues once and for all. This is possible especially since her secret project has come to an end and she no longer needs to earn. What she does will change her life forever.
She makes what turns out to be her last drug run as the police swoop in and make the bust. She is arrested and charged accordingly and sits in prison for a few months until her case is called. In the courtroom all mysteries are solved. It is realized that she has been anonymously giving the money made from the drug runs to her church and other community ventures. It is also discovered that her money has been going into a fake organization that set up a fake scholarship that has funded Kyle's college education. The only way he would have been able to go away to college was if he had gotten a scholarship. None had been forthcoming until he had been contacted by the March Foundation. It turns out that Marci's real name is March as her father was a military man and had wanted a son. Her mother had graciously shortened it to 'Marci'. The final mystery revealed comes as a shock as a clip of a 911 call is played in the courthouse and it is revealed that it was Marci who had tipped the police off to the drug operation in which she had been arrested. When all the evidence is examined Marci is acquitted and released. She is taken to the Donahue home where a surprise awaits her. Kyle had terminated his engagement and is not married by this time as she had supposed. Instead, he declares his love for her. He thanks her for doing what she did for his education and proposes with an unconventional token... He used the money recouped from the previous engagement to purchase the new leg brace that Marci had not been able to purchase.
Best part of story, including ending:
This story was a real tearjerker as real life issues are brought to the fore. It is a stark reminder of the reality that surrounds us each day.
Best scene in story:
The tears streamed when it was revealed that Marci was behind the March Foundation. When the readers see how hard she struggled to put Kyle through school even though she eventually realizes that he loves someone else, they cannot help but realize that there is a pure love flowing from the heart of this character and there is neither guile nor manipulation in her affections. She simply wants the one she loves to be happy, even if she cannot share it with him.
Opinion about the main character:
Marci is a character that readers cannot help but love. Her youthfulness, her humanness, her sincerity are all admirable qualities. She is also a study in the lesson of the purity of love.