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The Funeral Stones
The final installment of the Letters From The Road trilogy by G. Gordon Davis
Seventy-year-old Keeper Wick hopes to find some peace in his golden years with his wife and childhood sweetheart, Jonnie Prettyboy. His myriad children and grandchildren are spread across the country, living complex lives of their own. But Keeper has always had his own share of problems, and to his dismay, peace continues to elude him.
Then life takes an unexpected turn when Keeper learns his deceased half-brother has left him a small fortune. The money comes with one stipulation however: Keeper must move back to his hometown of Dakota Straits, Michigan, if he wants to collect what's his.
Keeper promptly calls his extended family to Michigan for a reunion and a funeral but, as Keeper's children from multiple mothers descend upon Dakota Straits, old grudges and conflicts raise their ugly heads. Keeper's autistic grandson runs into serious trouble, and blame is passed from one family member to the next. Meanwhile a mysterious old man from Keeper's past reappears to rekindle childhood memories of guilt and regret. Keeper is not a superstitious man, but he believes his days are numbered.
The Funeral Stones is the final installment of G. Gordon Davis's Letters from the Road series.
A Road Beyond the Dark
The second in a trilogy by G. Gordon Davis
The Road Beyond the Dark is the second in a trilogy that spans seventy years in the life of Keeper Wick, from 1931 to 2001. He is now a thirty-four-year old pediatrician trapped in a loveless and childless marrige.
It is 1965 on a cold late March evening in Dakota Straits, Michigan when he receives a telephone call that changes his life. It is Jonnie Prettyboy, his childhood sweetheart, calling from Atlanta to give Keeper the shocking news that he's the father of a twenty-one-year old daughter. The daughter is in a troubled late-stage pregnancy that threatens her very life if the baby isn't delivered soon. Worse, she has run off with her boyfriend, an abusive petty thief and father of that baby, to join Dr. Martin Luther King's Freedom Marchers in Selma, Alabama. Johhnie Prettyboy implores Keeper to drop everything and come to find their daughter before it's too late.
Keeper cannot refuse. Still reeling from the shocking news that he's a father, he leaves his sleeping wife to begin a forced-draft journey that follows the same road he and his father took in 1944. On the way Keeper encouters chilling reminders from his past, of his father's many infidelities and ghosts that may or may not be real - especially the weather-beaten old hitchhiker who calls himself "Doc".
Letters From The Road
by G. Gordon Davis
After barely surviving his entry into the world, Keeper Wick grows up worshiping his absentee father and begs to be taken on a trip someday. His father, Chance, is a traveling salesman, and Keeper saves every colorful postcard and documents every move he makes on a large, AAA roadmap. But by the time he's ten, someone else enters his life, splitting his attention: Jonnie Prettyboy, a chain-smoking thirteen-year-old girl who manages to be both tough and beautiful.
Set against the backdrop of WWII and America at war, Letters From The Road weaves a coming-of-age story of love, loss, and betrayal, with life-altering consequences none can foresee or prevent.
"A vivid and delicious read. A triumph of general fiction and an iconic coming-of-age story."
~ Amazon Books
In this debut historical coming-of-age novel, a father and son attempt to connect during a cross-country road trip.
Ten-year-old Keeper, born during the Great Depression, earned his name during his near-fatal birth, when his father, Chance, proclaimed, "A chip off the old block, and a keeper for sure!" Keeper is housebound with his mother and blind half brother, Early, but he admires his often absent father, who crisscrosses the country as a salesman. However, other family members aren't as enthusiastic about Chance because they know his weakness for woman and alcohol. Keeper passes time with trash-talking tomboy Jonnie Prettyboy, but when they're implicated in a fatal crime, they must keep a terrible secret. As Keeper enters adolescence, he gets an opportunity to travel with Chance, but the father-son trip slowly spirals toward tragedy. This is a vivid, unflinching account of a World War II-era childhood, in which a seemingly close family is torn apart by secret lives and hidden vices. We are reminded of how civilians lived through major events such as the attack on Pearl Harbor. But its finale is genuinely shocking, as it contrasts an adolescent's triumphant rite of passage with an adult's self-inflicted defeat.
A carefully crafted family saga, set in an oft-forgotten place and time, that shows how love and loyalty can't always save a family from disaster.
~ Kirkus Review
I read a lot of both fiction and non-, and I'm often reading more than one book at a time. I can't say that I recommend this, but most books hit a dry spot where it's easier to put it down than push myself through it. Your books, however, were just the opposite. I didn't want to put them down. All three, the same. I loved your rich characters, loved the multi-cultural aspect, and loved the mystical, ethereal current that ran through all three. The dialogues were absolutely wonderful, and there were no lulls in any of the stories. I laughed out loud throughout the entire trilogy. I think your structure was absolutely brilliant, creating such short chapters, and turn-on-a-dime subjects, keeping current all of the stories within the stories.
I thank you so much for the joy you have given us in these three great reads.
With warm regards,
"A compelling voice, one that the reader relaxes into instantly."
Lisa Cron, Consultant, Wired for Story
"Engaging and full of great scenes and characters who kept me interested. I loved the crazy road trip descriptions."
Susan Straight, Award-winninig author and UC Riverside creative-writing instructor
2001 National Book Award for Fiction, finalist for Highwire Moon
2007 Lannan Literary Award (fiction)
2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for short story "The Golden Gopher"
2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Robert Kirsch Award
"The drama builds through betrayal, anger, and sexual experimentation."
Amy Fremgen, Author, Eula May and the Flim Flam Nun.