The Patron Saints of Grocery Delivers Laughs and Wisdom by the Cartful
DENVER — Adam Kaat immerses readers in the unpredictable and often woefully underappreciated world of retail employment in his latest book, The Patron Saints of Grocery, the follow-up to his successful debut, Life on the Grocery Line.
The Patron Saints of Grocery continues the saga of protagonist Daniel, giving readers a complete story about a cashier working throughout the height of the pandemic.
“The past (pandemic) is important, and I think we should look back with curiosity about that time in life,” Kaat said. “I would love for people to find connections with those who couldn’t stay home and had to go to work and deal with the madness every day.”
Although works of fiction, both books draw generously from Kaat’s own experiences as a cashier at the onset of the pandemic and the real-world interactions he had with customers and other employees. And both books offer eye-opening glimpses into a world most people don’t see: the revolving door of retail, where gristled veterans collide with transient teenage employees, and where some of the country’s lowest paid workers were asked to shoulder an immense burden during an unprecedented time. But Kaat is quick to point out that it’s not all doom and gloom. Both books contain their fair share of absurd situations and moments that are laugh-out-loud funny.
“Both books are meant to be humorous time capsules,” Kaat added. “Where you get a look behind the scenes at the lives of retail workers, both the good and the bad.”
In The Patron Saints of Grocery, Daniel is feeling the numbness stemming from an underappreciated life. New pressures from climbing the corporate ladder, protocols and regulations from the government, and the increasingly restless public all impose their wills on Daniel’s dreams. Working hard to climb the ranks feels meaningless without any recognition, and the slow grind of retail life begins to take its toll. Will he finally get the push he needs to prioritize a secret alternative life moonlighting as a panda for social media, or will he just fade away into the retail abyss?
About the Author
Author Adam Jonathan Kaat worked in a grocery store as a cashier and then as a prepared foods supervisor from January 2020 until May 2021. After college, he bounced around through the corporate world until leaving it all behind in the fall of 2019 to write his first novel. By January 2020, he had taken a job as a cashier to earn money while preserving mental energy for his creative pursuits. Once the pandemic hit, everything changed, and he began to blog about his experiences. Eventually, those stories informed his two novels: Life on the Grocery Line and The Patron Saints of Grocery.