The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice

The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice
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In an attempt to secure an unexpected inheritance–and hopefully find a few answers–two estranged sisters and their newly discovered brother embark on a comically surreal trip through the Deep South to retrace the life of the mother who abandoned them.

On a Tuesday afternoon, sisters Jesse Chasen and Jennifer McMahon receive a phone call notifying them that the birth mother they had no knowledge of has died, leaving behind a significant inheritance. But in order to obtain it, they must follow a detailed road trip she designed for them to get to know her–and that includes finding a brother they never knew existed.

For the next week, this ill-assorted trio treks across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to meet their mother’s old friends, from circus-performers to a juke joint owner, each of whom delivers a shocking vignette into the life of a young mother traumatized by loss and abuse. Along the way, these three siblings–Jesse, whose fiery exterior disguises a drifting musician stuck in a rut; Jennifer, whose carefully curated family life is threatened by her husband’s infidelity; and Jack, whose enigmatic Jackie, Oh! persona in the New Orleans drag queen scene helps him escape the nightmares of Afghanistan that haunt him–must confront their own demons (and at least one alligator). But in chasing the truth about their real mother, they may all just find their second chance.

This uproarious debut novel is a reminder that sometimes, the family you’d never have chosen may turn out to be exactly what you need.

Chick Lit Café Book Review:

A humorous, moving family drama novel that is impossible to put down, The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice follows three siblings as they embark on a road trip across southern United States to learn about their mother and acquire their inheritance.

Jesse, who is struggling to make ends meet, receives a phone call about the death of her biological mother who she did not know about and a surprise inheritance. Her sister, Jennifer, receives a similar phone call and, shortly after, they learn the details of the inheritance. According to the conditions stipulated, they can only secure it by going on a sudden, week-long road trip to meet their mother’s friends and learn about the heart-breaking circumstances that forced her to make the decisions she made. In need of the money, Jesse guilt-trips her sister to go on the journey. Along the way, they learn they have a brother who wants nothing to do with them or their birth mom yet they have to bring him along for them to obtain their inheritance.

Allyson Rice has managed to create a story that aptly explores family conflict, forgiveness and reconciliation. It also balances hilarious moments and painful experiences with skill. The story is told through lovable characters who have relatable stories. Jennifer struggles with marital issues and Jesse is struggling to move forward after the death of their adoptive parents while balancing two jobs. Their brother, Jack, suffers from PTSD from his military service in Afghanistan.  Beyond their sibling conflict, a deep bond develops as they learn to trust and lean on each other. The story includes many other intriguing characters who the three siblings meet on their adventure-filled journey and who include some of their mother’s eccentric friends. They consist of circus performers, a seventy-year-old woman who collects stray animals and humans and a half-blind older woman who wears animal teeth and can still shoot a gun accurately. From the start to the end, readers will be completely hooked by the never-ending mishaps and adventures the siblings encounter including a nearly-fatal alligator chase

Expertly blending dialogue, laughter, and drama, The Key to Circus-Mom Highway is a heart-warming novel that will draw readers in right from the first page. It is a contemporary work with a vivid set of unique and captivating characters and packed with unexpected adventures and entertaining twists. This is one of the best novels’ and stories I have read in a long time. I was highly entertained and didn’t want the story to end. The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book proudly read and reviewed by Edith Emunah for CLC Book Reviews and Promotions.

Don’t miss out!!! Buy The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice
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Chick Lit Café Awards First Place to
The Key to Circus-Mom Highway by Allyson Rice
for best
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
CLC Book Excellence Award
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What Other Readers Are Saying…

“This breezy, charming tale incisively shows a family’s bittersweet facets.” –Kirkus Reviews

A “feverish, entertaining novel” –Foreward Clarion Reviews

“In this rollicking family dramedy, debut author Rice sends three lovable siblings on a zany yet touching road trip… Rice’s sharp observations of society’s absurdity verge on the satirical… Fans of family drama, road trips, and non-stop laughs will love this cross-country adventure.” –BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly

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