Email this review


 When Maylou's mama keels over dead in a retirement trailer park in Florida, Maylou takes her grief--as ``wild as the ache of wishing for a miracle''--round trip from Topeka, Kansas, to bring her mama's ashes home. Along the way, Maylou, 26 and dazed with missing her mama, undergoes a series of zany adventures. Picking up her elderly, eccentric father, John, at the ill-fated trailer camp, she meets nosy neighbors Vern and Doris, their redneck son Bubba, Bubba's disaffected, gum-snapping wife CeCe, and Bubba and CeCe's bizarre little boy, Larry, who has adopted Maylou's childhood pet dog Oscar and keeps him alive on a diet of beetles. When Maylou and John drive off for Kansas, CeCe--unable to put up with life with Bubba and Larry a minute longer--stows away. Stopping for the night in Georgia, Maylou and John witness CeCe falling in love with a psychic named Sherman; CeCe refuses to leave, and soon Vern and Doris show up with Larry and Oscar in tow, announcing that son Bubba has unexpectedly been crushed to death by a vending machine. Maylou, unable to budge her father from his newly adopted project of translating into carvings the secret messages of trees outside Sherman's cabin, takes off by herself, detouring to Graceland before finally arriving home--where she consults a second psychic named Red Dog, buries her beloved mother's ashes in a local graveyard, and falls for Emmanuel, the graveyard flower vendor, eventually leaving her ne'er-do-well husband Zak for a life of love even her devoted mother would have been satisfied with for her. An only mildly amusing, slapdash comedy.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-88910-409-3
Page count: 218pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993