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Mother Road    by Dorothy Garlock order for
Mother Road
by Dorothy Garlock
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)

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* *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

Everyone has heard of the legendary Route 66 that winds across America, and Mother Road is set at the beginning of the Great Depression, as families began their migration down the road towards the golden opportunities afforded them in California.

Andy Connors runs a small garage outside the small Oklahoma town of Sayre, where he lives with his two young girls and his sister-in-law, Leona. These living arrangements have come in for some harsh criticism from the local community, especially Leona's own brother, Virgil, and his 'bible stomping' cohorts. Leona's reputation becomes even more muddied when a stranger, Yates, arrives to take care of her and the girls after Andy is forced to seek medical attention in Oklahoma City.

Who is Yates and why has he turned up? He claims to be an old friend but Leona has never heard Andy mention him. Leona must put her trust in Yates because Andy obviously has faith in him, and this acceptance of him gradually turns to a deeper affection. Leona is not willing to give her heart to a stranger who is just passing through; how can she expect a drifter to want her, and how can she leave Andy alone to take care of his girls, run his garage and generally make a life for them if Leona is not there to help?

Leona and Yates face some unexpected problems that they hope to take care of without alerting Andy to their seriousness during his recovery in Oklahoma City. Local law enforcement and Virgil feature prominently in these problems, giving a picture of small town America that is not altogether flattering, with its gossip and innuendo, narrow mindedness and bigotry.

This is a quick read; the characters are, on the whole, believable and the story is engaging. There is the inevitable misunderstandings between the would-be lovers, but we continue to read to make sure that 'all's well that ends well'!

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