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By DK on 02-26-18
Best Friends on a Strange Road Trip
Shirley Ann and Jen must transport Jen's dead mother from Colorado to Palm Springs for cremation to fulfill the demands of the insurance policy.
The quirky events that befall the 31-year friendship are both beyond belief and somewhat comedic.
John Isaac Jones is SO very talented. The scope of which I am amazed at each book I listen to. 'Pauline' is not my favorite of Jones' works but it did keep me interested throughout… even with the narration (see below.)
I was not a fan of the narration. Joan Dukore's performance was VERY SLOW. She also chose to give one of the main characters a nasal voice, which I found grating. Oddly, her performance of the male characters was believable; husky, deep and strong.
*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. While this was not a favorite of Jones' stories, I was captivated and wanted to know if Jen and Shirley Ann would make it to Pauline's final destination!
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Erryn Barratt on 02-18-18
An Odd Road Trip
Shirley Ann has travelled from California to Denver with plans to go hiking with her best friend Jen. She and Jen have been thick as thieves for almost their entire lives and even Shirley Ann`s marriage – and subsequent divorce – to Jen`s brother hasn`t diminished the affection between the two women.
The morning of their planned hike, Jen receives a call from the nursing home – her mother Pauline passed away during the night. Shirley Ann has no sympathy and still wants to go hiking. Her disdain for her former mother-in-law is clear. I think we’ve all had a Pauline in our lives.
Where we differentiate ourselves is how we deal with the resentment and anger when faced with the dichotomy of a grieving friend and a person who hurt you so much while they were alive.
Shirley Ann, in the end, turns out to be a good friend. As the women set out to fulfill the final instructions of how Pauline wanted to be laid to rest, they have time to reconnect and also to share their memories of the recently deceased Pauline.
The number of incidents on the road trip to repatriate Pauline’s body in California pushed the limits of believability, but the hijinks were fun. The true point of this poignant short story is how the two women came together in a time of grief and learned to see things from the other`s perspective. They both have blind spots and they`re both ready to learn.
The end was great and I enjoyed the story. It is short, and deeper exploration of the women`s lives would have helped, but the journey itself was well-rounded. Joan Dukore is a good narrator. She followed the vocalizations as directed by the author, so be prepared. And I would definitely read another story by John Isaac Jones. This one was a quirky, dark-humour book about how we cope in life and how we all die eventually. In the end, it’s how we affect those left behind that speaks to our true impact.