This was a very modern romance, dealing with a reality for a lot of people who are divorced and separated from their children by long distances. A devoted father, Jake, stops off at a random diner and gradually befriends, then falls in love with, Charlotte, one of the servers there.
This story is written in the first person. It hovers between being a sweet and clean romance and a novel about what it is like to balance parental duties with a new relationship. Though it didn't quite work for me, I can imagine it resonates with people in the same situation, though LJ (Jake's son) sounds just a bit too good to be true. Jake and Charlotte are cute and you want them to succeed in finding happiness. There are some incisive observations about love and relationships, and although their romance was maybe too tentative to fall into the "lush romance" category, it did feel true to life. People are complicated, after all.
There were a couple of issues I wasn't sure about. Being compared to another man's wife was one. "You are my Caroline Foster," Jake declares, when he tells Charlotte he loves her. Yeah, that wouldn't really wash with me. The lady in question is undoubtedly lovely, a real sport and a good friend, but it all felt a bit odd. Also, it sounds as if Charlotte has some eating issues and I didn't feel I really knew her by the end. This was Jake's story, not really hers. And Jake's reaction to her being unsure about having a baby so soon after she pops out their first one seemed immature and a bit controlling, despite the explanation he gave afterwards.
Despite this, The Highway Ride is a very pleasant read which will no doubt strike a chord with people in the same situation. It will be interesting to see what else this author comes up with.
I rode for my son...
Over 150 miles of distance separate me from my son. For over three years, I’ve packed up every other Friday and made the hours-long journey to be with him. It’s a sacrifice I’ve accepted as obligations beyond my control keep us apart.
One random Sunday night, before packing up and saying goodbye, my son and I stop off for dinner in a diner, one that we’ve driven by numerous times over the past few years. Charlotte Grandy, the awkward and cute waitress, captivates not only me, but my son as well.
There’s a strong possibility I’ll never see her again...but I couldn’t leave without letting her know how I felt.
Soon, I rode for her...
A relationship is the furthest thing from my mind, but I couldn’t stay away. I don’t have much time to offer her; my life comes with baggage, more than any woman should have to deal with. Yet, Charlotte doesn’t walk away.
It can’t last.
If one thing in my life is guaranteed, it’s that goodbye is inevitable.