Review by Molly
David Jerome’s Roastbeef’s Promise is per the author loosely based on his own experience during the mid 1990s when he visited each of the lower 48.
-A chicken in every pot- screamed Charles Lindbergh Hume, birthdate 5/21/1927 the same day pilot Lindbergh set down outside Paris after finishing the first solo trans Atlantic flight. The baby whose parents intended to name Peggy Lynn surprised everyone when he was born a boy and not a girl.
The hardy youngster became a young fighting man during the 1940s, returned home, went to school on the GI bill, married, became a father to two sets of twins and then adopted son number 3 to offset empty nest.
As the narrative begins Mr Hume’s memories are gone, he believes himself to be President Roosevelt and his son is Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior. Suffering from Alzheimer’s he does not have long to live. His dying wish is that his son, Jim, Roastbeef, Secretary Ickes will take his ashes and sprinkle them in each of the 48 contiguous states, but not too much in Vermont, a state FDR never carried during any of the 4 elections Roosevelt won.
The inevitable death of Peggy Lynn, the name the Hume’s planned for their daughter and the one Charlie was called during his military life, led to the usual gathering of family, discussion re what to do with his ashes, and agreement that some of the ashes would be placed in the mausoleum near those of his wife while son Jim, Roastbeef, Secretary Ickes set out with the balance to carry out dad’s wishes.
Setting out from Maryland Jim and Charlie wend their way along a northwestern route across the upper states of the nation before reaching the west coast and travel along the coastline, reaching San Diego led first to Las Vegas and then 4 corners where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet then on to Lincoln, Nebraska before dropping down to Austin Texas, a little more wending and wandering and up the eastern coast line back to the starting point as Jim carries out his commitment while stumbling upon more than a few unusual, highly amusing, hysterical, and always out of the ordinary situations and meeting a whole cast of unusual, highly amusing, hysterical, and always out of the ordinary situations along the journey. Having traveled much the same route several times I have little disbelief that the writer may well have encountered many of the folks he has portrayed in his novel.
Somehow writer David Jerome manages to weave a very readable, humor filled narrative around what might be a tear jerker of a write. I know the tale is a novel, however, it features enough joy of life, and detail that the man portrayed as a figment of the imagination might well have been any dad. My own father died of –organic brain syndrome- which I suspect was what they called Alzheimer’s before they knew he had had Alzheimer’s and to tell the truth, the so called wake held for each of my elderly parents who had outlived everyone their own age was filled with more than a few chuckles and remembrances of our parents as younger fun loving folks much as was the remembrance service described for Charlie Hume.
The people and situations Jim encounters during his travels also come across as most believable and lead to reader thinking I know that place, or I met that person before again remembering this is a novel and is not meant to record fact.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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