Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright
"In Kim Wright's delightful novel, blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother's death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock 'n' roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family's South Carolina home: Elvis Presley's Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer's last day on earth. A backup singer for the King, Cory's mother, Honey, was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She returned home pregnant to South Carolina and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother's past-and possibly her own identity-Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis's estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling Deep South, the burning question in Cory's mind-who is my father?-takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her mother's past."
This is a fun summer SheReads.org read. I liked Cory's character and voice a lot. She is spunky, witty, and very well developed. Cory has just enough information to get her into trouble, but not enough to answer her questions. She gets herself into a few precarious situations, but has a good heart. This is a great story of a girl (well, ok, woman) who sets out to find her biological father, but ends up learning a whole lot about herself along the way. Some of her questions are answered, some are not, but she is able to more fully see herself. Elvis was a little before my time, and my parents didn't listen to him, so I really don't know much about him or his music (gasp!), but it was fun to read more about him and his last days. There are a few snippets in this book that are based on real events, but it is fiction. It is well written, and I enjoyed the writing style. The book flows well too. I like that it is a people story. I get tired of just action or fantasy sometimes, and it's fun to read a book that delves into people's lives. I loved this line: "But the road has taught me that sometimes the smartest thing you can do is just shut up and listen. People want to tell you their truth and they'll do it, if you give them half a chance." There are a few slow parts here and there, but overall I enjoyed the book.
There is profanity in this book, and more specifically, there are a lot of "f" words. It's very disappointing, annoying, and distracting. Ugh. If you'd just leave those words out the book would be a whole lot better! Anyway, I'll jump off my soapbox now. :) There are also a couple of "intimacy" scenes, and quite a bit of discussion about it, with some innuendos. There is also talk of paternity. There isn't any violence, but there are a couple of characters that do drugs. I enjoyed the book, but would have a hard time recommending it to friends because of the language. If language doesn't bother you then I definitely recommend it.
Rating: R (Profanity, including many "f" words, "intimacy" scenes, talk of, and innuendos, along with a couple of characters that do drugs)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.