Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets Katherine Center's How to Walk Away in Kathleen Basi's debut novel about an unconventional road trip and what it means to honor the ones we love.
It's one year after the death of her husband and twin teenagers, and Miriam Tedesco has lost faith in humanity and herself. When a bouquet of flowers that her husband always sends on their anniversary shows up at her workplace, she completely unravels. With the help of her best friend, she realizes that it's time to pick up the pieces and begin to move on. Step one is not even cleaning out her family's possessions, but just taking inventory starting with her daughter's room. But when she opens her daughter's computer, she stumbles across a program her daughter has created detailing an automated cross-country road trip, for her and her husband to take as soon-to-be empty nesters.
Seeing and hearing the video clips of her kids embedded in the program, Miriam is determined to take this trip for her children. Armed with her husband's guitar, her daughter's cello, and her son's unfinished piano sonata, she embarks on a musical pilgrimage to grieve the family she fears she never loved enough. Along the way she meets a young, pregnant hitchhiker named Dicey, whose boisterous and spunky attitude reminds Miriam of her own daughter.
Tornadoes, impromptu concerts, and an unlikely friendship...whether she's prepared for it or not, Miriam's world is coming back to life. But as she struggles to keep her focus on the reason she set out on this journey, she has to confront the possibility that the best way to honor her family may be to accept the truths she never wanted to face.
Hopeful, honest, and tender, A Song for the Road is about courage, vulnerability, and forgiveness, even of yourself, when it really matters.
About the Author
Kathleen Basi is a classical flutist who's composed a number of works for instrumental and choral ensembles. Her writing can be found in Apeiron Review, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and NPR's All Things Considered. A Song for the Road is her first novel.
Advance Praise for Song for the Road: "Basi's exquisite, gut-wrenching debut is filled with loss, hope, and secrets that fans of Julianne Maclean's A Curve in the Road will enjoy.” —Booklist
“As empowering as that fabulous movie, Thelma and Louise.” —Midwest Book Review “An emotionally complex story about reconciling love with loss, and the healing power of music…I loved every scene from the first to the last.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise Between Us
“In a novel filled with music, heartbreak, and surprising laughter, Basi takes us on a journey that encompasses both unimaginable loss and the powerful resilience of the human heart. A book club must read.” —Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Whisper Me This and Everything You Are “A must read! Basi’s insights into the human experience make A Song for the Road an unforgettable journey. She introduces us to life, loss, love, and the resurgence of hope—she introduces us to ourselves. The beauty of her prose and this adventure will linger long after the last page.” —Katherine Reay, national best-selling author of The Printed Letter Bookshop
“A nuanced grief journey whose final moments will push [our heroine] to face the depths of her shame and loss—and, scarier, the love that may help her emerge stronger on the other side. A truly panoramic view of human frailty and resilience.” —Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy and The Art of Falling
“A heartachingly beautiful book about grief and guilt, family and friendship, love and loss. Readers will be swept awaywith the lyrical descriptions and charmed by the characters. I wanted to race through the book to see what happened at the same time that I wanted to savor every page.” —Orly Konig, author of The Distance Home and Carousel Beach
"Lyrical prose propels this story about coming to terms with past choices and irreconcilable grief. A great read for anyone who finds themselves mired in guilt and unable to move forward.” —Marie Watts, author of The Cause Lives