Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright

It is rare for me to read fiction, but with this title I could not resist. I could not wait to finish (to find out what happened) Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright. I love a road trip especially one with a dog driving in the south where I have driven so many times. But this book is so much more than that. It is about a daughter discovering a whole other side of her mother – with an Elvis theme!

A singer (Corey age 37) whose mother (Honey at age 19) was a backup singer for Elvis in 1977 thinks Elvis was her father because she was born premature at over nine pounds. Honey left Graceland the day Elvis died and reunited with her high school sweetheart, and seven months later Corey was born. Thirty-some years later Honey dies. In 2015, Corey finds Elvis’ Stutz Blackhawk in her ‘dad’s’ shed. Corey drives it to Memphis to return the car to Graceland taking the same route her mother took when she came back home in 1977 using clues like fast food bag, cup, receipt and an old eight track tape with Elvis singing labeled “demo.” I won’t say any more because you need to be surprised as you read this. It is such a great story with lots of twists and turns.

I love the way the chapters alternate first the daughter in 2015 driving from South Carolina to Memphis then her mother in August 1977 driving from Memphis to South Carolina. Back and forth, back and forth, every other chapter Corey, Honey, Corey, Honey telling what Corey found out in 2015 then how it happened in 1977 back and forth, back and forth. It is brilliant! I have always loved stories like this that go back in time to explain what is going on in present day flipping back and forth between then and now – sort of like the movie Eddie and the Cruisers.

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