THE WHOLE WAY HOME – Sarah Creech
Contemporary Romantic Fiction
Present Day Nashville, Tennessee
Joanne Lover and J. D. Gunn have a history together. They met as preteens on stage at a local festival in Virginia where they sang and played country music—she on a fiddle, and he on a guitar. They met often to write, sing, and play songs together until life and ambition sent them in different directions, J. D. to Los Angeles, and Jo to Nashville. Years later, they have each come a long way—J. D. as a star with his own band, and Jo as the newest member of the venerable Grand Ole Opry. She's making her debut at the Ryman Auditorium when she spies J. D. in the audience.
THE WHOLE WAY HOME tells its story by immersing its readers into the country music scene through many short paragraphs and various interesting characters. At first we get a Nashville radio personality making observations about the state of country music and what it has come to today. We meet Jo's fiancé, Nick, a music producer, and her assistant, Marie. We also meet J. D.'s best friend, Rob, and the other members of J. D.'s band, the Empty Shells. Another group, the Flyby Boys, headed by Denver Colorado and including Alan Rockshaw is featured.
I must confess a lack of familiarity with the Nashville scene, but I learned what a dive bar is. And the book is peppered with famous names even I know. (I became most familiar with country music when living in Japan where I listened to Armed Forces Radio.)
The story sometimes goes back in time and we learn Jo's family background and a secret she kept for years.
All-in-all, THE WHOLE WAY HOME is an absorbing tale well worth pursuing. I highly recommend it whether you are a country music fan or not.