Book two in Dorothy Garlock's Depressionera Route 66 trilogy tells the evocative story of Margie Kinnard's struggle to achieve her dream of becoming a movie star. While en route to California, Ernie Harding steals her savings, and all appears to be lost until Margie's estranged father arrives to help her on her journey.
They join a caravan headed for the promise of riches in the Golden State. Ernie reappears and shortly afterward, her father is found dead. Margie wonders if perhaps Ernie murdered him and turns to rancher Brady Hoyt to help her uncover the truth.
No one evokes the Depression like Garlock. She brings the pain, the triumphs and the grittiness to life. Her solid, realistic characters who forge ahead in hard times and the pure Americana of these stories offer a compelling escape. This is a great, hopeful read for the new year. SWEET (Jan., 416 pp., $12.00)