by Dorothy Garlock

January 2004
ISBN: 0-446-53063-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Trade Paperback

Margie Kinnard has dreamed of going to California for a very long time. Margie had attempted the trip about a year before but her travel companion Ernie Harding stole her savings and left her stranded in Oklahoma. Even this bad luck can’t stop Margie’s dreams so when her estranged father offers her a ride to the Golden state with him she jumps at the chance to make her dreams come true.

Margie soon finds herself on the road with a father who seldom speaks to her and a caravan of three other cars filled with people who are headed west for various reasons.

The group consists of Alvin and Grace Putman and their blind son Rusty in one car. They are hoping to start an ice business in California along with Margie’s father. Rusty is Margie’s age and the two quickly form a strong friendship.

The second car is the Luker family, Foley, his son Jody and daughter Mona and their stepmother Sugar. Now Sugar would rather be anywhere but traveling across country by car and she tries to make life hard for everyone. Foley’s children can’t stand her and don’t quite understand why he was so quick to marry her after their mother passed away. Mr. Luker also hopes to make a living in the ice business once they reach California.

The third car contains Brady Hoyt and his young niece Anna Marie. Brady is taking his niece to California to live with her aunt after her parent’s untimely death and then he plans to go on to Colorado.

This group of travelers started out together for safety reasons and soon become a family of sorts. The thought that there would be safety in numbers soon proves to be true as the group suffers misfortune and setbacks along the way but they have each other to lean on and the journey down Route 66 becomes quite an experience for one and all.

In the second installment of her Route 66 trilogy Dorothy Garlock has created another compelling and entertaining read. With her trademark ensemble cast Ms. Garlock gives the reader not one but several stories in this picture of America in the 1930’s.

As always I found myself drawn into the story and carried along for the ride. Hope’s Highway is a brilliant addition to Ms. Garlock’s body of work and further proof that she is the voice of America’s Hartland. She is truly the mother of Americana romance and I am looking forward to another trip down Mother Road when the third installment of this series is released.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Barbara.

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