Diane Rapp is an author and book reviewer. She launched her latest book this week – Dragon Defense.
When I began reading this book, I assumed it might be a travel story about the places visited. Thankfully the engaging story dragged me into the lives of these four women from the first chapter, and I became one of their stragglers on the adventure. Two best friends (Sally and Meg) decide to take a trip along the old Route 66 from Chicago to L.A., and their daughters (Ramona and CC) go along for the ride. Of course the daughters have ulterior motives. They plan to enter a talent contest in L.A. or I’m sure they’d never agree to travel with their moms!
No one expected that this road trip would be more than a pleasant ride through the country. The four women stop at interesting road side attractions, but they also explore their pasts and their relationships during the journey. Their excitement about traveling Route 66 is contagious and the “Road Warriors” eventually attract a caravan of cars that follow them across country. The crazy characters they meet are odd, funny, and absolutely outrageous.
I once traveled with my grown daughter for three months, doing research for a Caribbean guide book. During that trip I saw my daughter as an adult, a woman who I was proud to know. The four women in this book laughed and cried together (many times), told secrets that kept them apart, and examined failed relationships with the men in their lives. It’s a well-told story that cuts away the layers to get to the core of personal realities, serious stuff.
Lucky for readers, it’s not all serious. We get to watch while they shoot grandpa’s ashes off in a bottle rocket, meet Looza, the lady whose husband brought an alligator to bed, and laugh at the “kiss of death.” The author creates her own platitudes like:”You’re not lost if you travel the direction you’re going,” or “Don’t trust a man who wears a white cowboy hat, because he’s hiding something.” She also creates memorable characters with personal stories worth exploring. Travel Route 66 with these women and enjoy the ride.