The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Natalie is a professional on marriage. She’s written several books on how to keep your marriage alive and she has speaking engagements all over her calendar to prove her worth in that arena. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop her from having marital difficulties. When her husband leaves her for another woman, Natalie is devastated. And not only does it destroy her marriage, it takes her career down with it.
It’s not exactly what Natalie was planning, but when her father calls to tell her that her mother is slipping further and further away into the dregs of Alzheimer’s, Natalie decides that a trip back home is just about perfect right now. She even starts to get excited about it and before she can think too hard, she invites her sister Lindsay along. Of course, she gets another surprise when she shows up and Lindsay is pregnant and in the midst of leaving her boyfriend.
The topics in this book are heavy and very real, which could have easily bogged the book down into not only a boring read but also a highly depressing one. Thankfully, Jennifer AlLee handles the situations with a lightness of hand that leaves a gentle touch on the reader’s soul. Where you want to cry along with Natalie, you also can’t help laughing later when she and her sister find themselves in some of the craziest situations you could imagine. I admit there were times when I wanted to shake Natalie and yell at her – pretty loudly I might add. But as frustrated as I was, I do understand that often the person in the center of the controversy or difficult opinion is the last one to see things clearly.
Natalie is stubborn, stuck in her ways and convinced she can hold her life together though everything around her is falling apart. And I admit to some of that stubbornness myself.
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and it hit the spot right at the perfect time for a good summer read. As hard as it was to watch Natalie fall, it was a pleasure to watch things start to come back together too.