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by Dorothy Garlock
Warner Books, June 2003
385 pages
ISBN: 044653062x

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During the depression in the 1930s, Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, was the main highway people used to drive to California. Andy Connors owns ³Andyıs Garage² a gas station, situated right off the road, near Sayre, Oklahoma. He makes his living by fixing cars and selling gas, and Andy also allows travelers to stay for no charge in an area behind the garage in case they need a break from driving. A widower, he lives with his two young daughters and his dead wifeıs sister, Leona, who helps him take care of the girls and the garage.

One hot morning, a rabid skunk bit Andy. Yates, a man whose life Andy had saved years earlier, had luckily stopped at the garage for gas at that time. Yates killed the skunk and took Andy to the hospital, which was hours away, so Andy could get medical attention.  Since the series of rabies shots would take six weeks, Andy had to stay at the hospital and Yates agreed to stay on at the garage and help Leona so she wouldnıt be alone.

Leona didnıt like or trust Yates at first, but as she grew to know him and saw how he acted towards her nieces and handled the various problems that went along with running the garage, she soon fell in love with him.

Leona and her sisterıs parents died when they were very young, leaving them in the hands of their brother, Virgil, a bible thumper who saw nothing but indecency in his sisters. After Andy married into the family, Leona ran away from Virgilıs care to live with Andy and her sister at the garage and then stayed to help out after her sisterıs death. Virgil soon spread vicious rumors about Leona and Andy saying that they were living together in sin. The town soon started to believe Virgil and Leona was treated as a pariah.

Author Dorothy Garlock introduces the readers to some wonderful characters in MOTHER ROAD. Thereıs good natured, generous, Andy, who still misses Leonaıs sister, and would give his shirt off his back to help anyone. We also meet Deke, who has been suffering with unrequited love for Leona since they were children, but he knows that she will never marry him.

Then there is Yates, a man who keeps to himself and has his own childhood scars.

Some other wonderful characters we meet are the many travelers on Route 66. Most enter the book for a chapter or so and then leave. All these people make MOTHER ROAD an interesting tale filled with multitudes of plots and side stories. I enjoyed the side stories tremendously.

The romance side of the book is another matter. Maybe itıs because Iım not a fan of the genre, but Yates and Leona constantly questioning themselves about their love for each other became a little tedious. Leona admits to herself that she loves Yates and then she wonders why and wonders if he loves her and then we read the same exact thoughts from Yates. Towards the end of this long book I was skipping all the pages I saw that dealt with the two. There were times I felt like screaming ³enough already, get on with the story.²

Author, Dorothy Garlock, writes many romance novels set in Americaıs heartland, and MOTHER ROAD is her latest.

Iım not spoiling anything by saying that the book has a happy ending, the readers will suspect this from the very start of the story. The best part of this book is traveling through the pages to see how Dorothy Garlock gets us to the happy end.

On the whole though, Iıd say that MOTHER ROAD was a pleasurable book. If you like romances youıll probably consider it a great book. I enjoyed all the different characters, but the various story lines were what kept me turning the pages.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, July 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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