About Wrong Highway
Paperback: 390 pages
Publisher: Shepherdess Press
It is 1986. Erica Richards lives in West Meadow, Long Island with her three young boys, newborn baby girl, and successful Wall Street analyst husband. But don’t be fooled by her seemingly placid suburban lifestyle. Erica is fierce, curious, uncompromising, and often impulsive. When her teenage nephew Jared rebels against his straight-laced parents Ron and Debbie, he turns to Erica for help, setting in motion a chain of events that will take all of them careening down a dangerous and twisty highway. Buckle your seatbelt, crank up the 80’s soundtrack, and learn how stunningly easy it is to keep BIG SECRETS.
“…Wrong Highway is a captivating debut novel…”–Kim Bissell, co-owner, Broadway Books, Portland, Oregon
This is the first novel by Wendy Gordon. With a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition, Ms. Gordon has also done quite a bit of writing. She has been a journalist for over 25 years, and has been published in newspapers, magazines, and on the internet. She was born and raised back east, but has found her home on the West Coast. (Coming from Pennsylvania and living on the West Coast myself, I can see how this could happen.)
As I read this book, the intensity of the plot line and the characters and their behavior, immediately made me think of the novel Rabbit, Run by John Updike and some of the novels by Jodi Piccoult. Their books are very intense, as well. The characters in Wrong Highway, as well as in these other authors’ books were restless, quite flawed, and unsettled, and there was a pervading sense that something cataclysmic was going to occur.
Go back a few years in Wrong Highway, to 1986. Two sisters and their families dominate the story. The oldest sister, Debbie, is organized, a neat freak, and likes everything to be calm and under control. Debbie is also straight-laced. In addition, she is also quite neurotic and attributes all types of health problems as the cause for Jared, her teenaged son’s rebelliousness. Sending him here and there for specialist evaluations, Debbie and her DJ husband, Ron, think Jared will be fine if they treat all his “ailments.” Debbie is also good at placing the blame for his wildness on his girlfriend, whom she considers to be “white trash”.
Meet Erica, her younger sister, by four years. She and her family live in an expensive home in Long Island that comes with all the toys. She has 3 young boys, a newborn girl, and seems to have it all. She looks like the poster child for the upper class. But Erica is restless. She is free-spirited, looking for excitement, curious, and in a rut. She just seems to be on a treadmill of family responsibilities, never seeming to catch up. Don’t get me wrong, she adores her children and husband. Yet she feels there has to be more and she wants to find it. She and Debbie are polar opposites.
When Jared comes to Aunt Erica for help, sister Debbie is hoping Erica will assist the boy to get back on track. Erica does help Jared, but not in all the ways her sister would like. Events begin to tumble quickly downhill affecting all family members, and before anyone realizes what all is going on, it seems too late to turn things around. But is it?
As I mentioned, this book is an intense read. Be prepared for the unexpected is my warning to you. And strap on your seatbelt as you are going to be taking one wild ride.
A special thank you to TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this novel and write about it.
About Wendy Gordon
Wendy Gordon grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and has lived in Boston, Chicago, and New York before finding her true home on the West Coast. She received a B.S. from Simmons College in Boston and an M.S. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She has been a journalist for over twenty-five years, publishing in newspapers, magazines, and electronic formats. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and children. This is her first book.
Wendy Gordon’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, June 6th: The Magic All Around Us
Tuesday, June 7th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, June 8th: The Avid Reader
Thursday, June 9th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, June 13th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Saturday, June 18th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, June 22nd: BookNAround
Thursday, June 23rd: Why Girls are Weird
Monday, June 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, June 27th: Chick Lit Central
Tuesday, June 28th: Puddletown Reviews
Wednesday, June 29th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, July 5th: Mama Vicky Says
Thursday, July 7th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books