Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Last Bus to Coffeeville – J. Paul Henderson

Posted in Contemporary Fiction on April 20th, 2014 by admin – 1 Comment

Last Bus to Coffeeville

Published
23/04/2014

Publisher
No Exit Press

Source
www.realreaders.com

My Rating

Rating: ★★★★☆

Nancy Skidmore has a plan and she needs Doc Eugene Chaney to fulfil his side of the bargain if she is to achieve her goal – to be free of the relentless Alzheimers Disease which has plagued several generations of her family.  Doesn’t sound like a bundle of laughs, does it?  Somehow J. Paul Henderson manages to wrap the narrative of his debut novel with a cosy, heartwarming vibe which makes for an enjoyable and engaging read.  Fans of existentialism and angst should turn away now.

The small, unimposing town of  Coffeeville, Mississippi is Nancy’s final destination, the location of a wooden lodge owned by her family.  However her journey there is far from straightforward as it involves many diversions, both historical and geographical, as well as a large cast of varied and somewhat eccentric characters.  I can see how the meandering narrative might irritate some readers but I loved it : relaxing into it was like floating on a lazy river absorbing bits of trivia en route.  The style is reminiscent of Forest Gump and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe with that laid-back, warm and inviting southern voice.  Indeed I could see this transferring very easily to the big screen.

It’s by no means a perfect book with some sections of dialogue a bit on the clunky, heavy-handed side but it is a very promising debut.  Not bad at all for a former foundry worker from Bradford, West Yorkshire.  ;-)

 

 

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Calling Me Home – Julie Kibler

Posted in American Fiction, Historical Fiction on May 29th, 2013 by admin – 9 Comments

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Publisher
Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date
20th June 2013

Source
www.lovereading.co.uk

My Rating
4.5 stars

 

Calling Me Home is a remarkable debut novel, a story which will draw you in and lead you on an emotionally fraught journey from a racially divided 1930s Kentucky to the “supposedly” more liberal present day.   There is also a physical journey, a road trip across the states, as black hairdresser, Dorrie Curtis escorts her elderly white client, Miss Isabelle,  to a funeral.  As they draw closer to their destination, Isabelle gradually reveals a secret, forbidden love, one which has haunted her since she was sixteen.

The journey is therapeutic for both ladies, especially for Dorrie who learns from Isabelle’s experience that you must seize whatever happiness life offers you no matter how fleeting the opportunity.  I was engrossed by their stories and I was impressed with the author’s control of such emotional themes, never straying into mawkishness or over-sentimentality.

A compelling read, dare I say as good as The Help, if not better…and it would make a beautiful movie too!

You can read more about the author here including excerpts from the novel to whet your appetite even more :-)

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