Chip's Reviews > Back Roads

Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
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May 05, 2011

it was ok
Read in April, 2011

I had a hard time believing that Harley would continue to go to see the therapist while working two jobs and not having a dime to spare... not that the therapy was costing anything except time, but it didn't add up other than as a plot device to explain that he was nuts (in case it escaped the reader's attention).

The real story should have been told from Amber's point of view. There were complex issues between Amber, Misty and their mother that Harley would never understand, and that complexity deserved to be explored.

In many ways this felt like another tired reaffirmation of Appalachia stereotypes. The introduction of impressionist art somehow hinted that this book might rise above the jokes, but in the end it wasn't enough. There's Appalachia, with everyone in the country making fun of them, proving again they are worthy of the treatment. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth as a reader, and explains in many ways why the author hasn't been able to follow up her initial success with another (that, and the lack of Oprah's marketing support).

Beach reading at best. Unless someone gives me a compelling reason, I won't read this author again.
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