They had me at the title. Although not my typical fare, this sounds like a fun read...and fun reads are sometimes a good thing when mostly you read about blood and guts.
From Publishers WeeklyWhen Claudia, a 40-something Texas widow, holds a garage sale to offload some of her late husband's belongings, she discovers a note he scribbled in the last days of his illness, asking her to return a bizarre three-foot bust of Elvis Presley to Memphis. Reluctantly, Claudia embarks on a return to sender road trip to Tennessee with her 60ish aunt, who knew Elvis personally, and a caustic teenage girl who is harboring a secret. Ellis (who has built a career in romance writing under the name Leanna Wilson) has some strong moments scattered throughout the story, which is laced with over-the-top Elvis humor and interesting reflections on Claudia's cautious return to faith in God. The first half of the novel is an awkward mix of road trip sitcom and overwrought melodrama before jettisoning the humor somewhere after a tour of Graceland. Elvis fans will likely enjoy the homage paid to the King—in addition to the travelogue of sites around Memphis, each chapter is named after an Elvis song—but others will find the gimmicks distracting. Moreover, the writing is marred by theatrical clichés (sudden tears threaten like the storm clouds popping up on the horizon). Despite some entertaining scenes in this faith fiction offering, it lacks cohesiveness. (Jan.)
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