They say if you want to really find a good book, go to page 69 (the middle and meat of the book) and you like it, it's definitely worth reading. For today's feature, I'm zooming in on page 69 of Allyson Rice's new contemporary fiction/ women's fiction novel, The Key to Circus-Mom Highway.
In an attempt to secure an unexpected inheritance—and hopefully find a few answers—two estranged sisters and their newly discovered brother embark on a comically surreal trip through the Deep South to retrace the life of the mother who abandoned them as infants.
On a Tuesday afternoon, sisters Jesse Chasen and Jennifer McMahon receive a phone call notifying them that their birth mother has died, leaving behind a significant inheritance. But in order to obtain it, they must follow a detailed road trip she designed for them to get to know her—and that includes finding a brother they never knew existed.
For the next week, this ill-assorted trio treks across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to meet their mother’s old friends, from circus performers to a juke joint owner, each of whom delivers a shocking vignette into the life of a young mother traumatized by loss and abuse. Along the way, these three siblings—Jesse, whose fiery exterior disguises a wounded, drifting musician stuck in a rut; Jennifer, whose carefully curated family life is threatened by her husband’s infidelity; and Jack, whose enigmatic Jackie, Oh! persona in the New Orleans drag queen scene helps him escape the nightmares of Afghanistan that haunt him at night—must confront their own demons (and at least one alligator). But in chasing the truth about their real mother, they may all just find their second chance.
This uproarious debut novel is a reminder that sometimes, the family you’d never have chosen may turn out to be exactly what you need.
“This breezy, charming tale incisively shows a family’s bittersweet facets.” –Kirkus Reviews
A “feverish, entertaining novel” –Foreward Clarion Reviews
“In this rollicking family dramedy, debut author Rice sends three lovable siblings on a zany yet touching road trip… Rice’s sharp observations of society’s absurdity verge on the satirical… Fans of family drama, road trips, and non-stop laughs will love this cross-country adventure.” –BookLife
Release Date: Paperback: November 27, 2022; Kindle: January 3, 2023
Publisher: The Total Human Press
Soft Cover: 978-0982185544; 270 pages