A timeline for the story would include many of the following events -
- Jenna starts working at Gladstone Shoestore during her sophomore year.
- Jenna gets her drivers' license.
- Jenna's alcoholic father returns and makes a scene at the shoestore.
- Mrs. Gladstone hires Jenna to be her driver, and the two set out to visit the stores in the chain, with the ultimate destination Texas.
- Jenna learns that Mrs. Gladstone's son wants to push her out of the business and take over, lowering the company's standards and principles to increase profit.
- Mrs. Gladstone and her son Elden have a confrontation in St. Louis.
- In Texas, Jenna meets Harry Bender, "world's greatest shoe salesman".
- With the help of Jenna, Harry, and a friend, Alice Lovett, Mrs. Gladstone tries to rally stockholders to keep Elden from taking over.
- Alice gets Jenna a haircut and changes her wardrobe, and for the first time, Jenna sees herself as "a pretty young woman".
- Harry Bender dies.
- Elder accosts Jenna before the stockholders' meeting, fires her, and tries to put her on a plane back to Chicago.
- Jenna runs away, sneaks into the meeting, and stands up to speak for Mrs. Gladstone.
- Mrs. Gladtone is voted out, but the new partner, Ken Woldman, hires her to oversee quality control because of Jenna's speech.
- Jenna goes home, recognizes changes in herself and her family, and resolves to love her father but to cease being an enabler for his drunkenness.