Road to Nowhere (review)

Leave a comment

Road to NowhereRoad to Nowhere by Paul Robertson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Genre:
Literary, contemporary murder mystery.

Worldview:
Christian.

Plot in brief:
A proposed highway connecting tony Gold Valley to petrified Wardsville galvanizes Jefferson County residents and has everyone taking sides for and against. Who’s really behind it? How will it impact Wardsville’s quaint image and quainter businesses? Will the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors actually pass it? And who is so determined to have his way, he’s killing people to get it? The board will make their final decision at their December meeting. The telling begins in January.

My favorite thing about the book:
I love the way Robertson tells the story—through the points of view of the six individuals on the Board of Supervisors. I found it a challenging read at first as I jumped from one head to another without even any extra space left in the text to indicate a move. But very quickly I got used to it and really enjoyed the challenge of figuring out through whose eyes I was seeing things moment to moment. The characterization is outstanding.

I also enjoyed the writing, which is funny, observant, clever, and seasoned with generous amounts of homey wisdom. Here’s Wade’s impression of the coffee Rose Esterhouse serves Wade on his visit to the home of board chairman Joe Esterhouse:

“He held the cup up close to his mouth and inhaled enough to get a few drops of the coffee itself.

“He’d had straight-up horseradish that wasn’t this bitter.

“He tried an actual sip. After a cup of this stuff, he’d be out there plowing fields himself, probably with his bare hands. … Taste was not the point—this coffee was kick in the pants to get a person out the door to work” – p. 60 – Kindle Location 407.

Themes:
Evil, truth, community, relationships (we watch some beautiful interactions between hairdresser Louise and her husband Byron, insurance salesman Randy and his wife Sue-Anne, and farmer Joe and his wife Rose).

Who will enjoy this book:
Observers of human nature as well as readers who enjoy a well-constructed murder mystery. The portrayal of characters is as big a part of this story as the mystery plot. Some call it slow-moving. It may be that but it’s wonderfully insightful. I loved it!

View all my reviews

Leisure these days

13 Comments

I’ve been keeping up with the November Poem-A-Day poetry prompts at Poetic Asides. Yesterday’s was  “Talk back to a dead poet. Choose a poem you like by a poet who is no longer living and offer a rebuttal.”

I chose the poem “Leisure” by W. H. Davies (1871-1940).

Here is the original:

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

– W. H. Davies

My talk-back poem is more a reflection than a rebuttal. Some days I’d definitely prefer Davies’ brand of leisure. But, then, who can entirely resist ‘progress’?

Leisure these days

I think I’ll pass on woods and grass
if my connection’s nice and fast.

Ignore lithe Beauty’s dancing feet
as Google serves me sure and fleet.

Watch girl in sidebar smile or scowl
and not that pensive sheep or cow.

See YouTube arrow turn to bars
instead of watching squirrels and stars.

The stream of stars that I prefer
Netflix delivers all the year.

What good is life and what’s it worth
without the time to sit and surf?

– Violet Nesdoly (November 8, 2012)

*****************

I’m offering this poem to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the dauntingly clever Ed DeCaria. Come on over to Poetry Friday: Findability, Discoverability, and Marketing to sample dozens of poetic offerings from the Kidlitosphere and beyond.

Duck Pond Primary

21 Comments
Heron

A solitary heron is the pond’s pundit

Duck Pond Primary

Crows are campaigning
for the abolition of eagles and hawks.
Starlings are a pollster’s nightmare
can’t make up their minds about anything.
Ducks hang around the path
in true socialist fashion:
Why get ambitious when most walkers
carry birdseed or bags of bread?
A solitary heron is the pond’s pundit
but he doesn’t look optimistic.
Chickadees with their happy-go-lucky
pine-branch somersaults and games of tag
are surely too frivolous to vote.
But most of the forest
from robins and waxwings to flickers and jays
go about their business giving nothing away.
Expect a surprise or two come election day.

© 2011 by Violet Nesdoly

******************

Even though I live in Canada, I have been following the run-up to the U.S. election with great interest. With it being only days away, I thought of “Duck Pond Primary” which I wrote last May around the time of the Canadian federal election when, after being subjected to interviews, campaign ads, signs, predictions, debates, polls and more polls, even the world of birds began to look political!

I submit this poem to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Donna at Mainely Write.