I was looking for something light and fun to read, and assumed this would be a Fannie Flagg-type of book, or one like Clyde Edgerton's Walking Across Egypt, or maybe something similar to the Mama books. It started out that way, 2 fiesty, near over-written elderly ladies going on a road trip to Bessie Smith's grave...cute, almost too cute. But then it gradually changed, evolved. The bones of the story hardened, it grew muscle, adding strength to the prose, the plot. These two are more than the typical sweet yet gritty old ladies, they are women of substance. The trip itself became incidental as we relived their lives through memories, right up to the end. A surprising novel, a satisfying read. I'd definitely read more by this author.
Two elderly women go on a pilgrimage from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to clean up Bessie Smith's grave! On the way we learn about their relationship as well as the narrator and her troubled life. Really interesting reading.
Book was a lot of fun to read. My book group loved this tale of "two gritty old women" traveling and reflecting on their lives.
Enjoyable story of two friends in a "better late than never" coming of age tale.
This 1st time author received the Barnes and Noble Notable Book award when the book was published in 1998. It was well deserved, as this "road trip" story of two long time women friends is filled with characters, not all like-able but all memorable, and with events that could color any woman's life. The story unfolds in a series of flashbacks and current activities that are told in a humorous and heart-wrenching way. Did I mention that the two women on this road trip are 75!
I read this as a book club discussion choice and the other 8 members of the group enjoyed it also.