Monday, October 18, 2021

Book Review: "A Song for the Road" by Kathleen Basi

Apparently I haven’t stopped torturing myself emotionally just yet, as I read this book on the heels of Nicholas Sparks' The Wish.

It’s been a year since Miriam’s husband Teo and their teenage children, Talia and Blaise, were killed. She’s barely holding on most days, but when she receives flowers for her birthday “from” Teo (from an auto-delivery set up a year before), it causes her to act a little impulsively. Which would be fine if she weren’t the music director of a church.

She knows she needs to process her grief but isn’t sure how. And she can’t even bring herself to go through any of their stuff. But when she opens her daughter’s computer she discovers that her children had created a road trip challenge for Miriam and Teo to take, a romantic journey across the country, full of coin-flip choices and random tourist spots.

Moved by the amount of effort the kids put into this, Miriam decides to take the trip, accompanied by Teo’s guitar, Talia’s cello, and Blaise’s unfinished piano sonata. Along the way she meets Dicey, a pregnant hitchhiker, who decides to join Miriam on the journey.

The trip is unpredictable, memorable, and emotional, as Miriam not only comes to terms with her grief and loss, but her guilt at not always appreciating her loved ones or giving them what they so desperately craved. For anyone who has ever thought, “If only I…,” you’ll feel this book so palpably.

As you can imagine, A Song for the Road packs an emotional punch, but it’s sweet and funny and thought-provoking as well as poignant. Just a beautiful book.

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