The book is somewhat deceptively described as a "road trip novel," the actual trip doesn't begin until 100 pages in. However, that turned out not to matter. Veteran and father of three adult children, Bill Warrington is beginning to develop Alzheimer's. Because his granddaughter April wants to visit San Francisco (in order to become a famous singer), and his three children aren't close to each other (or him), he arranges a trip with her without telling her mom. However, he provides clues to their destination for his three children which can only be pieced together by collaboration.
This book fulfilled all my criteria for a great read: flawed but likeable characters, well-paced, showing rather than telling, and the author answered the question some neglect mainly: Why should the reader care about these characters? What's the point of sticking it out until the end with them?
i read so many books, particularly first novels, in which the author seems to be working overtime to convince me of his/her cleverness, precocity and ability to use Very Big Words where a simple one would do fine instead. It's not that I don't enjoy "flowery" language or unique metaphors, just not to the point where it becomes prententious. As a writer myself, I know that "just telling a story" and making it look seamless is a lot harder than it looks, and I applaud Mr. King for bringing it off here.
(Note to Hollywood: Stop doing remakes of eighties movies and Saturday Night Live sketches and consider optioning this instead. Please.)
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