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Song of the Road    by Dorothy Garlock order for
Song of the Road
by Dorothy Garlock
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Mary Lee Clawson hightailed it out of Crossroads at a tender age, marrying a man she thought could bring her happiness and fill a void in her heart. But her husband Bobby does not fill that void, he just makes her life more miserable. When he dies, he leaves Mary Lee one gift of hope, the baby growing within her. Mary Lee returns to Crossroads and the motor court that her father built on Route 66. It's now run down and inhabited by her alcoholic, embittered mother Dolly and Dolly's drunk friends, who have been doing a great deal of damage. Dolly is not about to help her daughter, who inherited the cabins that Dolly feels should have been hers. Mary Lee is aghast at the devastation that her mother has unleashed on the motor court.

Jake Romero is a tenant in the cabins, who has a shady past (stealing steers). Two strikes against him as far as Mary Lee is concerned. Jake however, feels tender towards Mary Lee and tries to help her as much as possible. He feels for the small woman, who is pregnant, broke, and desperate to bring her inheritance back to being a reputable business. Jake will do anything to help her. Eli is a thirteen-year-old drifter who would also do anything to help Mary Lee. He bands together with Jake; together they try to make Mary Lee's dreams come true. And when Mary Lee is faced with more than foreclosure, Jake and Eli are both there for her.

Song of the Road is a tender tale of love and loyalty, with a hint of suspense. This is the third in a series set on Route 66, following Hope's Highway and Mother Road. Each one can stand alone as a beautiful story set along the highway in the 1930s. Dorothy Garlock has a knack of pulling the reader in with characters who are lovable and realistic, as well as some who are dark and sinister. Her knowledge of this time period makes for a pleasurable read. I was sad to say goodbye to Mary Lee. As a new reader of Dorothy Garlock, I will be checking out her backlist and new releases.

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