By Lynda Simmons
Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic
Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time.
“Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.
Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.
Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”
Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.
“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”
“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”
“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl y-in-the-ice-cube.”
“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”
“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”
The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”
She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.
“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”
Reid raised his head. “A favor?”
“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”
The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”
“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”
Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”
“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”
Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”
I know, Harlie is back! Woot! Hope I haven’t lost my touch with reviewing. A couple of things before I start with the review. I’m going to mix it up a bit from now on starting with this brilliant look at two married people that can’t stop loving each other but also, can’t live without them either. As you know, I don’t summarize a book, tell you how much the hero is douche (unless he is), or how much the heroine needs to be slapped upside her side sometimes. No, I’m going to re,view books from my heart, not my mind. So forgive me, if my reviewing style has changed. I don’t want to sound like the same broken record when I review a book.
Its a story about growing apart, growing up and finally deciding what is really important in life and what you want out of a marriage. Unfortunately for Vicky and Reid, its a bit more complicated than that. You see, they are thrown together but a meddling but dead uncle named Albert. Wanting his ashes spread, he has one request. That Vicky and Reid do it together.
The premise of the book was brilliant. On the brink of divorce, Vicky wants nothing more than Reid to sign the papers. She doesn’t want it but she needs it to move on with her life. Reid is the little boy that wouldn’t grow up and never understood why Vicky wanted the minivan, white picket fence and the HEA. Reid is the typical I don’t want to grow up man child but I understood him. I know, weird huh?
Vicky at times could be a shrew but again, I understood her too. But seriously, she doesn’t need 3 children to take care of and forced to make a choice, she filed. Oh sure, these two loved each other but when you want different things out of life, its hard to compromise. That’s what I truly got out of the book. You have to fight for your marriage, make it work and decide once and for all what’s really important. Every relationship has its ups and down but are you truly worth fighting for what you want?
Reid had a lot of growing up to do in the book. His character had the most to lose, too. Groveling wasn’t going to do it either. One thing that bothered me at times where that the back story wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. Sure its there but maybe I was just hoping for more since it was about a married couple.
Overall, I loved Vicky and Reid. And even Uncle Albert. 🙂 I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone that needs to be reminded about what makes a marriage work and how to work it out. Plus, who doesn’t love a road trip book?
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.
With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Simmons/e/B001KI3Z4O