The Key to Everything
By Valerie Fraser Luesse
Published by: Revell
NORA’S REVIEW: This novel reminds me of the movie Forrest Gump (as both characters went on an adventure that had them meeting fascinating people). There is a Forrest Gump kind of feel mixed with a coming of age story minus the graphic sexual side of things.
From the start readers get to know Peyton and his mother after a tragic event. They are waiting for medical news about their loved one. It’s then Peyton learns the details of his mother and father’s love story and a few surprising things about himself.
This is a heart-warming and delightful story of Peyton and his quest to go on the same journey his father went on when he was 15 years old. He sets out with his bicycle and backpack filled with his stuff and goodies from his mom.
The expedition begins in Georgia and goes all the way to Key West, Florida. I enjoyed Peyton’s adventures and the interesting people he meets. I lived in Georgia and Florida, so I appreciated the trip through the streets of Georgia and Florida and all he saw there. Peyton says to Lisa, “Do you think my father found it?” Peyton propped on his elbow, looking down at Lisa. “Yeah, I think he did. But the sad thing is, he left it here.”
“I don’t want to do that, Lisa. Because there’s something else I’ve figure out. You can’t follow anybody else’s path, like I tried to do with Daddy – Like Daddy thought he had to do with Granddaddy. Somewhere along the way, you gotta draw your own map.”
Good point. I loved the charming cast of characters (including the ones you were not meant to like) with a captivating deep story I could not stop reading. It was a grand adventure mixed with a splash of young romance, family drama and a remembrance of a life well lived.
At the end the author shares what inspired her to write this story, “…General Patterson really did ride his bike to Key West and back, Sleeping in police and fire stations, ..Like Peyton, General Patterson loved to fly, completing 101 missions as a US Air Force fighter pilot during the Korean War… couldn’t resist giving Peyton Cabot just a little bit of my own dad, Junior Freser, whose creative, adventurous, take-it-as-it-comes spirit always amazed me growing up. There’s just a touch of Daddy in my protagonist. I don’t think Holly will mind. There’s room for both of our heroes in Peyton.”
This is a book that would work well for a book club pick. There is so much to talk about. If you have not read a book by this author, I highly recommend you read this heart-warming tale that will leave you with a smile on your face and a happy heart.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network Blog www.bookfun.org