Monday, September 22, 2014

The Road and Beyond - Marilyn Brant's Newest Offering

The Expanded Book Club Edition of
The Road to You
Marylin Brant

In 2013  I had the privilege of reading the original Road to You as a part of a group book club read under the direction of Debbie Haupt of  The Reading Frenzy.  It was a fast paced, interactive read with Marilyn Brant spending the entire month in active participation with the group.  The last question of the discussions was to think several years down the road, where do you think the main characters would be in their lives?  The answers were interesting and varied and met much discussion and laughter.
Imagine my delight and surprise when we, the group, received a Beta version, of The Road to You, with the story told from a different point of view.  

The Road and Beyond more than tells the original The Road to You from the point of view of looking back thirty plus years in the future, in reflection.  A second storyline is added in the current day setting that reverberates every bit as much with the angst, mystery, and fingernail biting as the original story.  This time, though, instead of the reader just seeing the pain and despair of the sister as she once again relives the mystery of the wild summer thirty some odd years ago, she also rips the reader’s heart out with a mother’s added layer of grief and despair as she desperately tries to locate her missing son.

All the old feelings and memories of the protagonist’s youth came bubbling up like Old Faithful’s Geyser. How could she face the new emergency without allowing the fears and memories of the past taint her thinking and the decisions she must make.  Once again the loss and the aloneness threatened to overwhelm her in the darkness of the night.

Once again she has to go back and relive and remember the worst years of her life. The most heart pounding summer of her youth threaten to overwhelm her as we, the reader are dragged along on a wild ride across the United States in a hot ride with a hotter hunk who simmers with sex appeal and everything a young eighteen year-old’s heart and hormones could ever dream of while they try to locate information about their brothers who have been missing and declared dead for two years. His simmering silence and her smart mouth make for banter that keeps you laughing and wondering.  The mysteries that meet them at every curve of the road, throws danger and risk in their way that no innocent backwater young lady should ever have to face.  With every turn of the page you wonder if they will survive or if they will find the answers the want to hear.

With the addition of the current day over-lay storyline, The Road and Beyond was a whole new book.