WHERE THE ROAD GOES by Joanne Greenberg


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 Greenberg (No Reck'ning Made, 1993, etc.) hits her full storytelling stride in a tale of domestic tragedy revealed through the diaries and correspondence of a 62-year-old activist grandmother who's participating in an Environmental Walk from California to Cape Cod. It's during this journey that Antigone (``Tig'') confronts questions raised by crises en route and at her Colorado home: When does ideal love become blind to its object? When does a crusade for humanity lose sight of human beings? Tig has left husband Martin, to whom she is happily married (as she had left him in her younger years for one Cause or another), to join a purportedly nonpolitical yearlong walk coast-to-coast that will sound out Americans on their views about the environment. Part of the small army of campers, Tig and her friend Polly discover much about the nation's varying moods--from the group anger of young Navajos to the group optimism of flooded-out Missourians. Meanwhile, letters from home--frank, tense, worried--indicate trouble. Daughter Solidarity, divorced and with two small sons, is devastated by the torments of her friends and neighbors, a gay male couple--one defeated by a cruel custody fight for his sons, the other bent on self-destruction. But, worse, daughter Justice and her husband are about to suffer the agony of losing their 19-year-old daughter Hope in a mismatched marriage to Indian Larry, a product of foster homes and psychiatric social programs, and with no roots in the tribe he claims. Larry drinks and rages, while Hope, pregnant, continues her sacrificial dedication to her ideal of love. The earnest, desperate, middle- class family attempts to save Hope and to reach out to Larry, who is complex, lost, and ultimately dangerous. Tragedies will be played out, as Greenberg nicely catches the way in which causes and romantic ideals sometimes run afoul of complex, stubborn realities. Stimulating and involving.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8050-5163-5
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997