“I didn’t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong…”
As Ma and Alex make their way from Virginia to California, each new state prompts stories and secrets of a life before Alex. Together they put to rest unsettled scores, heal old wounds, and search out lost friends. But Alex can’t forget the life they’ve left behind.
When I finished this i was at a loss. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened. Not because it was written badly, but because it hit me in the guts.
Alex was a great protagonist. Trying to deal with growing up, whilst being dragged all over the country by her Ma on a mission.
Alex is genderless – that is they don’t associate with one gender over another. This is explored really well, and Alex’s Ma is very supportive. The exploration gets a bit dark at times, with an unpleasant hitchhiking experience, there is lots of self exploration and also playing dress up with a drag queen.
But for me it wasn’t this that was the stand out part of this novel. That came in Ma’s character. As the story develops we learn about her history, and get to piece together her experiences growing up. It is this, given to us almost like a trail of breadcrumbs that I really enjoyed. It explores how our experiences have an effect upon who we become. Here we can see history repeating, with Alex becoming increasingly restless.
The story is told from Alex’s point of view, looking back at the road trip that happened over 30 years ago. I was slightly unsatisfied with the ending, although it did work and fitted in well.
Received via Netgalley for review
Finished on April 7th 2017
You can buy the book here if you wish