I chose to read this book because I was looking for something different. Something purely entertaining. Something outside of my usual read. That’s what I got with November Road.
This book starts with two seemingly completely unrelated people and slowly brings the threads together until their stories intertwine. The two stories are incredibly different, so I was definitely wondering how the heck they were going to come together. Charlotte, a mom with two girls under 10, is feeling uninspired by her life and her alcoholic husband. Guidry, a man with no family, gives a guy he knows up to his boss, and he knows the guy will be dead shortly after.
So, we have a dissatisfied housewife and some sort of hitman. Then, Kennedy gets assassinated and Guidry thinks his boss is behind it. Sure enough, he gets a call about going to the site of the murder to get rid of a car. Charlotte, at this point, decides to take her girls and leave her husband.
Charlotte and her girls and Guidry are both now out on the road, making a drive through Texas. That’s how their stories end up intertwining, and that’s when the book started moving a little faster for me. It felt a little slow at first, but picked up as I was getting into the thick of things along with the two main characters. There’s a good amount of tension that makes you wonder what’s coming, which kept me reading. In general, I’m not a fan of crime reads that detail killings, and this one does have some of that. As expected, I really didn’t enjoy those parts. I don’t need my books to be all happiness and rainbows all the time, but reading through someone killing another person on purpose isn’t my thing.
Despite some violence, I found this book enjoyable. It served as good entertainment, which is what I was looking for in this kind of book.
About November Road
• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (October 9, 2018)
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.
Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.
A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.
Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.
For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.
Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.
Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.
Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.
About Lou Berney
Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Find out more about Lou at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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