Book Review: Moon Pies and Movie Stars

Ruby Kincaid keeps busy running her bowling alley, raising two grandkids and listening to the assorted tangents of sister Loralva or mother-in-law Imogene Davidson. She constantly wonders what happened to daughter Violet who walked away from her husband Harley and two children four years ago without so much as a backward glance. Violet’s children, daughter Bunny and older son Bubbie are understandably confused by their mother’s abandonment and although their father Harley tries to include them in his life, there just never seems to be enough time to properly bond with them.

When Violet shows up on a television commercial, it set the entire population of Devine, Texas aflame in a wash of conjecture and gossip. Loralva is determined to become a contestant on a game show, Ruby is equally determined to drive to Hollywood and track Violet down and meddlesome Imogene isn’t about to let the opportunity to outshine her in-laws slip through her fingers. Ruby packs up the kids, Loralva and Imogene in the Winnebago and heads west on a quest to reunite the family that culminates at the only LA gas station selling Moon Pies.

In addition to being a moving testament to the strength of love, Wallen’s debut novel is a slow, sweet road trip packed with off beat observations. Filled with fully developed, engaging characters that delight and frustrate much like real family members, this captivating tale hints at better times ahead as Ruby comes to terms with Violet’s choices and moves on.

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