Wednesday, April 9, 2008
WISH YOU WERE HERE by Catherine Clark
I’ve always been a fan of author Catherine Clark, so I was anxious to read WISH YOU WERE HERE. I’m happy to report that I believe it is her best yet.
Ariel Flack (no, she is not named after the little mermaid) is about to set off on a road trip with her recently divorced mother and her younger sister. She is not looking forward to the trip, but she doesn’t really have a choice. Forced to leave behind her new boyfriend and her beloved cat, Ariel is prepared for the worst. Little does she know that the worst is about to get even worse.
The three travelers begin their journey, but Ariel’s mother has not been entirely truthful about the type of trip they will be taking. Ariel and her sister soon find out that the trip is not just a road trip in their aging Jetta, but will also include a bus tour with the Leisure-Lee tour company. Their fellow tourists are mostly senior citizens, and the tour highlights are scenic places like Mount Rushmore and a visit to the see a giant ball of knitting yarn.
Only one thing saves the trip, and his name is Andre. Tricked into the same bus tour by his controlling mother, Andre becomes the seatmate of Ariel. Together they find ways to deal with their situation. At times they both consider escaping from the tour and heading off on their own, but in the end, the experience does offer more than they anticipated.
Catherine Clark uses her trademark humor and imaginative characters to entertain her readers. Ariel’s gambling addicted father, her self-help expert mother, and an eccentric mailman uncle who was once attacked by a family of rabid squirrels join up with a husband and wife tour guide team, cute Andre, his fashionably dressed mother, and a stowaway Chihuahua to make reading WISH YOU WERE HERE terrific fun.