Maybe it’s a summer thing, I’ve read two books with road themes, at least in the title.
Memories of Dirt Road Town was offered at 99 cents by the publisher to honor author Stephen Bly, who passed away this summer.
Develyn Worrell, a fifth grade teacher in Indiana, is ready to escape. It is the start of summer vacation and she sets out to find a town in Wyoming she remembers visiting as a child. She divorced her husband three years ago because of his affair. Their daughter blames her for the divorce and her father’s recent death.
Devy heads out in her Jeep Cherokee with only a vague idea of where she’s headed. It’s the craziest and also most exhilarating thing she’s ever done. She finds her way to a wild horse auction and meets some true Wyoming characters – a bronc buster, a woman named Casey Cree-Ryder who lives in a horse trailer, a wealthy rancher who owns half of two counties, a burro, and a landlord who has a secret to hide.
The beginning of the book, involving two middle aged school teachers talking, is rather awkward and prolonged. But once the story reaches Wyoming, it comes to life, just like Devy, and Bly has a vivid and humorous way of describing the beauty and desolation of the West. There’s a romantic element of the story, but that thread doesn’t get completely developed, so looks like I’ll have to read the rest of the trilogy to find out who gets the girl.
Memories of A Dirt Road Town is now priced at $9.39, but another of Bly’s books Throw the Devil Off the Train is a cheap read at $4.99.
The second road trip I’ve read this summer was One Lane Bridge. It is written by Don Reid, amazing song writer and lead singer for the Statler Brothers, and this book moved with the rhythm and honesty of a good country song.
J.D. Wickman is good-natured middle-aged guy dealing with typical trials – his mother is in a nursing home, his daughter wants to quit college, an employee is stealing from his business. One night he takes a ride to clear his mind and comes across a poor farmer and his teenage daughter. Only later does he realize the one lane bridge he crossed took him back in time 70 years. So now, added to his problems, everyone thinks he’s crazy.
The book moved quickly and provided an ending that was surprising and satisfying.
This book was offered supercheap during the Big Deal this summer and is now priced at $9.99.