A road trip to scatter her mother’s ashes turns into a journey of self-discovery as Harley navigates a romance with unexpected consequences. After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother's ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way. But it's not long before Harley realizes she's pregnant…with Dean's child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother's past to make a difficult decision about her own future.
I have a soft spot for road trip stories. And this one has a super angsty premise that drew me in from the get-go. I'd never read a book by Tawni Waters before, but I love novels from Sourcebooks Fire and was super excited from the blurb.
Harley (not her real name) has a lot going on in her life. Her mother died a tragic death, she moved across the country, there aren't many people in the world she's close to, she has a friend-with-benefits she doesn't know how she feels about, and she has to figure out what to do with her mother's ashes. Oh, and she's pregnant (spoiler alert, but only if you didn't read the blurb).
That's a lot going on! Harley and Dean set out on a cross-country road trip to take her mother's ashes back to their favorite spot. In typical road-trip-story fashion, there's love, fighting, and revelations coming out the wazoo. There's a lot of grief here while also trying to navigate very real and adult situations.
Harley (I won't spoil her real name for you) is a tough cookie. Her voice could be off-putting to some readers, but I enjoyed her. She's a smart character, capable of looking back on her actions and realizing how and when she screwed up, but also unable to keep herself from doing the screwed-up thing time and again. With that said, many threads also wrap up a little too nicely.
Should you read it? Love angsty road trip stories? You'll probably love The Long Ride Home, too. The mother-daughter is tender and fierce and it'll probably break your heart more than once. Harley and Dean have great rapport and you'll enjoy hearing their banter. I'll admit I skimmed a few chapters, but so much of this story is so beautiful, sweet, and touching. Ultimately, Harley's voice sells this book.
3 1/2 Stars
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
Published September 5th, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire