Monday, June 17, 2013

Dakota Blues by Lynne Morgan Spreen

This first novel by Spreen held my interest from beginning to end. The author was brought up in North Dakota but this doesn’t mean it’s a memoir. It does mean that she has a fine sense of the place and its people. The main character is Karen, a fifty year old woman, who goes home for her mother's funeral in North Dakota. Karen has a high pressure job and while there she is informed that she has been 'let go'. To make matter worse, she's in the throes of a divorce.

When she is about to return home to California, she is persuaded to drive a camper belonging to a ninety year old woman, who is in ill health and who wishes to see her new great granddaughter. Reluctantly she agrees to sidetrack to Denver and leave the woman with her daughter, with the promise that then the camper will become her property and she can proceed to California.

Gradually her impatience gives way to a curious bonding with the woman. At that point, it turns briefly into a 'road trip' story with an unlikely duo. The two meet assorted people at the various campgrounds and even have a narrow escape in one instance. After finally depositing her companion in Denver Karen drives on to California, faces what awaits her and makes a decision - a surprising resolution to her problems.

I look forward to another book by this author.

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