Getting There by Gerry Boylan
Publication Date: July 2010
Publisher: Synergy Books
Format: Hardcover, 368 pp
(Received for review from Phenix & Phenix Publicity)
Synopsis (Courtesy of the authors website: www.gerryboylan.com):
Luke Moore, a hitchhiker at heart, feels most at home on the road. So it's no surprise as he and his wife drive their daughter to college for the first time, the middle-aged husband and father picks up a mysterious hitchhiker- and is quickly reminded of his unstable and often reckless youth.
Thirty years earlier, in 1973, after a shocking event turned his life upside down, Luke set off on his own. Hitchhiking along I-75 between Florida and Michigan, he not only met an extraordinary cast of characters, survived the dangers of the road, and fell in love, but he also witnessed tragedy and struggled to find himself.
Getting There follows Luke as he reconciles the boy he was with the man he's become. As he reflects on the life lessons he's learned on the road, he wonders how he can convince his daughter not to make the same mistakes he's made, and whether it's wise to trust the stranger sitting in the backseat.
Gerry Boylan's novel, Getting There, is more about the amazing journey a person takes to become who they want to be, rather than where they end up. Boylan reaches into his own life experiences to bring us the story of Luke Moore. At one time the author hitchhiked over 100,000 miles in the United States and Canada, giving him first hand knowledge of life on the road, the good things and the bad.
The main character Luke, finds himself driving across country with his wife as they take their daughter off to college. Luke is accustomed to the road and feels at home when he comes across a hitchhiker, who he feels compelled to stop and pick up. Luke spent his youth hitchhiking I-75 from Florida to Michigan and the hitchhiker makes him feel nostalgic and allows him to relive that time in his life through his memories. It's been 30 years since Luke took off on his own and now he's a middle-aged man, looking back over his life. Will he be able to keep his daughter from making the same mistakes?
Luke is a very realistic character. He is an average man who had a more than average youth. Due to tragic circumstances he took to the road and found everything from love to danger and everything in between. We see him as a youth through his memories and we see him grow into the man he has become. I enjoy a book that shows how the character changes from beginning to end and how their experiences have impacted their own lives, but many others along the way and this book really hones in on that. Luke was exposed to many different kinds of people, from many walks of life and he learned something from just about everyone of them, which makes him question the hitchhiker he has chosen to pick up on this trip.
Personally, I can't imagine hitchhiking across the country. So this was a very eye opening novel for me. What would that be like? Who would you meet? How much danger would you be in? In today's world I would certainly hesitate to pick up a stranger, but I remember my dad doing it often when I was younger. You never know who you might have in there with you. I understood Luke's apprehension when he began to think about that.
I really enjoyed the book and I loved Gerry Boylan's descriptions of the people and places that Luke saw. Boylan's humor was a big asset to the book and made the reader see things from a comical point of view at times.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a coming of age book, with a twist. We get to see how the character turns out 30 years later. It is full of the wit and and humor that Boylan's book, Gerry Tales is filled with and readers who enjoyed that one, will love this one.
Getting There is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Here is some additional information about the author, Gerry Boylan.
Gerry Boylan has trekked through life as a roustabout, a hitchhiker, a successful businessman, and everything in between. He is the co-founder of a private equity firm, and the father of four remarkably well-adjusted children. He resides in Royal Oak, Michigan, with his all-knowing and always-loving wife, Kathy.