After losing her job and learning she might also lose her house because of a bad investment, Jess, a fiercely independent and hilariously wry BC grandma, resorts to growing pot in her basement to make ends meet. She then has to juggle her public life as a grandmother and member of the town’s senior women’s group – The Company of Crones – with her secret life as a pot grower. The unusual characters she meets along the way include Swan, the enigmatic young woman who introduces her to the grower’s world, and Marcus, the socially awkward “gardener” who shows her the tricks of the trade. Both of her new young friends are more than they appear, and Jess’ adventures in pot growing break down barriers in both her old and new circles. The delightful outcome of an almost legitimate business leaves Jess and her associates flushed with success.
About the author
Jennifer Craig became a nurse in the UK shortly after WWII and immigrated to Canada in the 1960s. During her mid-life crisis, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, followed by a Master's in education and a Ph.D. in medical education from McGill. She was on the Faculty of Medicine at UBC for ten years as an educational consultant. She is the author of the memoir Yes Sister, No Sister: A Leeds Nurse in the 1950s, which sold more than 160,000 copies in the UK. She lives in Nelson, BC.
- Short-listed, Evergreen Award
- Winner, Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
Gone to Pot is a great read for any age, reminding us that the elderly can be vibrant, active, and involved.
A destitute grandmother is forced into an untraditional business venture and ends up dealing with much more than she bargained for, in Gone to Pot, by Jennifer Craig.
The novel opens with protagonist Jess discovering the she’s lost her waitressing job, thanks to a kitchen fire. Distraught, Jess then learns that a bad business investment may force her to lose her house as well. Grown accustomed to self-sufficiency in the years since her divorce, she does not solicit help from her ineffectual son, Jason, or his boorish wife, Amy, instead opting to take matters into her own hands and start a grow-op within the confines of her basement.
Aided by former coworker Swan and “gardener” Marcus, Jess’s life changes rapidly, leaving her to balance her public roles as a grandmother and as a member of the town’s senior women’s group, The Company of Crones, and her private life as a drug manufacturer.
Gone to Pot is an entertaining read, thanks largely to Craig’s dynamic writing style. Characters all differ greatly from each other in age and disposition, but dialogue is well parsed and believable, Craig making the seamless transition between voices look easy. Despite the largely humorous tone of the book, Craig also manages to explore many complex ideas, such as the rampant ageism that many older people face, as well as extreme flaws in medical and governmental systems that force people into illegal endeavors either to make ends meet or to find some relief for chronic pain.
Gone to Pot is an entertaining read, thanks largely to Craig’s dynamic writing style. Characters all differ greatly from each other in age and disposition, but dialogue is well parsed and believable, Craig making the seamless transition between voices look easy.... A great read for any age, reminding us that the elderly can be vibrant, active, and involved.