Published by Gallery Books on May 24, 2016
Genres: Womens Fiction
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Lauded for her “astute and engrossing” (People) writing style imbued with “originality galore” (RT Book Reviews), Kim Wright channels the best of Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen in this delightful novel of self-discovery on the open road as one woman sets out for Graceland hoping to answer the question: Is Elvis Presley her father?
Blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother’s death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family’s coastal South Carolina home: Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer’s last day on earth.
A backup singer for the King, Cory’s mother Honey was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past—and possibly her own identity—Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis’s estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling deep south with its quaint towns and long stretches of open road, the burning question in Cory’s mind—who is my father?—takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her complicated mother, the minister's daughter who spent a lifetime struggling to conceal the consequences of a single year of rebellion.
Last Ride to Graceland is a touching story about a daughter seeking the truth about her mother’s past. This was my first book by Kim Wright and I really enjoyed this.
Cory Ainsworth is a thirty-seven-year-old blues musician. It’s been less than a year since her mother passed away when she discovers Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk hidden away in their South Carolina home. The car is in mint condition and contains unusual clues from her mother’s past as one of Elvis’ back-up singer. Her mother, Laura aka Honey, fled Graceland on the day of Elvis’ death and never spoke of her time with the King. Cory has always wondered who her real father was so with the help of the clues Cory goes on a road trip. She intends to return the car to Graceland but follows the unusual route her mother took 37 years ago to get back home. A journey to find the truth of her father makes a surprising twist for Cory. By discovering her mother’s past Cory comes to an understanding that she and her mother weren’t as different as they had appeared to be.
The characters of Last Ride to Graceland were fun and easy to relate to. Cory is lost and makes ends meet by singing at a bar. Her passion for music comes from her mother but we see that they clashed. This is a typical mother-daughter relationship that anyone can identify with. Cory is a likeable character and it is no surprise that the strangers she meets gravitate to her. This journey forms a stronger connection with her mother and also we see Cory get a grip on her future. The story is written in dual POV, alternating between Cory and Honey in 1977. The author also mixes in Elvis’ last days. I was 6-years-old when Elvis passed away. At the time I didn’t understand who he was but I can recall how devastated my mother was by his death. The author’s historical facts are a unique tie into Honey and Cory’s story. There were humorous, heartbreaking and touching moments.
I recommend Last Ride to Graceland for fans of women’s fiction and heartwarming mother-daughter stories.
I received this book as a member of the XOXperts, XOXO After Dark’s official street team, in exchange for an honest review. Visit XOXOAfterDark.com for the best in romance, urban fantasy and women’s fiction.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge