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Book Club November 2011 – Amy & Roger

Book : Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

By: Morgan Matson

Genre: Fiction, Real Life

Synopsis

Amy Curry’s life is not what it once was. The accident tore her family apart first emotionally and now literally. her mother has decided the thing to do is move and has given Amy the task of getting the car across the country. This isn’t something Amy will be doing alone as she hasn’t actually driven since the accident. Amy’s mother has arranged for Roger, the son of a family friend to do the driving.

They are barely on the road before the strict itinerary Amy’s mother outlined, has gone out the window. They both have reasons for wanting the detour. Roger has come off a confusing relationship break-up and Amy is still lost in the wilderness of life after the accident. Their journey takes them to Yosemite, down America’s loneliest road and even to Graceland, along the way Roger finds answers and Amy learns to live again, Sometimes taking a different path is exactly what you need and it really is the journey that matters not just the destination.

My Initial Thoughts

This is a wonderful, fun and heartfelt journey. Matson slowly opens the central characters up as the miles pass away. The prose is fluid and is broken up by journey playlists and funny little travel journal entries. The mood is a times tense and at others relaxed, as the characters begin to to grow comfortable with and begin to trust each other.

The road trip is beautifully punctuated by the varied characters Roger and Amy meet up with along the way. Bronwyn was a particular highlight for me. Of course all these characters add poignant moments to the story, some deep and some simply joyful fun.

This is a well balanced story that seems to move along at just the right pace. Matson has captured the feel of a leisurely road trip, there is little frantic about it as you are caught up in the need to just get away and experience new things.

Did I Like It

Yes. I don’t read a lot of general fiction, I have found people often read genre or general and I am more a genre type. In fact I think I always have been, so it may be a case of genre nurture. That said I like discovering new authors and stories that interest me.

This story is one I think quite a few people can identify with. I know I can. I was quite a bit older when I did my version of a road trip, for me it was overseas travel. Though with Australia being so big it would be very possible to do a road trip, the main difference is that we have so much open space.

I think one of the core topics in this book is identity, discovering something that is at the heart of you. For Amy it was getting to say and do some of the things she didn’t think she could, and overcoming her fear. For Roger it was facing a certain person and accepting the truth of what they were like. Both characters had to learn to let go of the past and be willing to face the future and find the good in it. This is a lesson we all need to remember at times.

So if anyone has read this book let me know what you thought about it.

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