Back Bay Books (Little, Brown), Aug 2010, $14.99
In 1946 Pennsylvania, her older cousin seduces sixteen years old Sally Werner; when she has qualms he takes her anyway. She becomes pregnant and the family blames her. After giving birth to a son, an ashamed Sally runs away from home leaving her baby behind while following the Tuskee River.
Sally never stays in one town too long. Instead whenever the woman believes her past is catching up to her, she moves using new identities. However, when she has a second affair resulting in a pregnancy, Sally flees from the abusive father of her newest child Penelope; taking her daughter with her. As she enters middle age, she longs for a safe place to call home while her youngest wants to remain on the road.
This is a fascinating look at a female on the American road over six decades. The story line narrated by Sally’s granddaughter (and namesake) as Sally the younger tells readers that her grandma spent much of a lifetime running from her past and herself while her mom spent a lifetime running the road. The long and winding road is an obvious metaphor of life, which as in real life can prove repetitive, but worth traveling with the women as they wander the byways of America.