Saturday, August 27, 2022

Five of the best road trip novels featuring women

Before her retirement in 2014, Deborah K. Shepherd was the director of a domestic violence program in central Maine. Her essays have been published by Herstry, Persimmon Tree, Women on Writing, and Women Writers, Women’s Books. Her Covid-themed essay was a winner in the Center for Interfaith Relations 2020 Sacred Essay Contest. During an earlier career as a reporter, she wrote for Show Business Newspaper and the Roe Jan Independent, a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. She holds a BFA in drama from the University of Arizona and an MSW from Fordham University.

Shepherd's first novel is So Happy Together.

At Shepherd she tagged five of the "best road trip novels with women in the driver’s seat," including:
Boop and Eve's Road Trip by Mary Helen Sheriff

The author had me at the first line: “Boop loved her daughter to the moon and back, but Justine had a way of sucking the joy out of a room faster than a vampire bat.” This road trip story about three generations of women (Boop, her daughter, Justine—who’s not in the car, but her presence is—and Justine’s daughter, Eve) set against a background of family secrets, has a decidedly Southern tone. One imagines a narrator relating the story from a rocker on the front porch, a glass of sweet tea in her hand. Although there are lighthearted moments, this is a serious story, about familial expectations, mental illness, family secrets, estrangement, and three women trying to find their way back to themselves and to each other. Travelling with this unforgettable grandmother/granddaughter duo is a gift.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue