Customer Reviews for

Commuters: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is excellent family drama

    Septuagenarians Winnie McClelland and Jerry Trevis fall in love. Their respective families are not happy with this development, but his goes viral when he leaves his affluent Chicago home to move in with his love in Hartfield in Upstate New York.

    His daughter Annette fears Winnie and her crew will inherit her father's fortune so she sues to take control of his vast assets. Her daughter Rachel pleads with her new wealthy stepfather to pay off the enormous loan she took out to cover her ailing spouse's health-care costs that threaten to bankrupt them. His grandson Chef Avery, a recovering drug addict, asks his grandfather to fund a new restaurant he wants to open. Meanwhile in their grandiose mansion, the newlyweds anger the townsfolk when Winnie considers removing a historical tree to make way for a swimming pool; money will not buy temporary loyalty this time.

    This is excellent family drama as the younger generations see the geriatric pair as money and not a human couple. Ironically, Winnie and Jerry add to that belief by their approach to the locals in which money has always bought Trevis loyalty. The various members of the McClelland and Trevis families rotate narration so that the audience understands what each perceives are threats when the elderly duet marry; changing what has been the status quo dynamics for quite awhile. Except for the sex scenes between the newlyweds that fail to flow freely but instead come across as a forced attempt to make a point, readers will enjoy the discerning Commuters.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Senior Issues

    In Commuters, Emily Gray Tedrowe explores a topic rarely discussed, that of love found by the elderly and the complications a late second marriage entails.

    Winnie McClelland is seventy-eight on her wedding day; Jerry Travis a few years older. Winnie has lived in the same commuter town outside New York City her entire life; Jerry is a successful businessman who is very wealthy. Neither expected to be lucky enough to find love again at their age. Nor did they expect the complications and joys that would arise from their union.

    As in all second marriages, the children of the first marriage have a major adjustment to make. Winnie's daughter, Rachel, also lives in town. Rachel's family has had major life adjustments after her husband is in a horrific accident that leaves him in a coma for several weeks and needing major rehabilitation afterwards. Now she has to adjust to her diminished role as her mother's confidant and advisor. Jerry's daughter, Annette, is adamantly against the marriage and regards Winnie as a gold digger, only after Jerry's money. She ups the ante by suing her father for control of the business he has built and left in her charge.

    Annette's son, Avery, has had little contact with his grandfather. But he is now on his own in New York, and develops a relationship with both Jerry and Winnie. He is starting out in many ways. He has just found a new love, Nona, and is feeling his way towards a career as a chef. For the first time in his life, he is feeling the comfort and reassurance of an accepting family life.

    All the characters react in different fashions as Jerry's health deteriorates, and these reactions make up the second half of the book. Emily Tedrowe explores what it means to get older and what is important to us as we age. She delves into family relationships and the difficulties that they bring along with the joy.

    This book is recommended for all readers. The characters are vibrant, and the reader will remember them long after the book is put away. The topic is one that many readers will encounter, either as the participant in an older love relationship, or as the child of someone in the situation. Commuters gives guidance and hope; an uplifting book that lyrically explores the facets of love and family.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    A wonderful novel!

    I loved this novel. I was amazed at how quickly I became invested in the fates of the three narrators. I got caught up in their stories from the very first pages of this novel, rooting for things to go right for them and cringing when they made bad choices. Tedrowe's seamless transitions -- from Avery (a 20-something ex-addict), to Rachel (a 40-something wife and mother), to Winnie (the 78-year-old whose second wedding launches the novel) -- are impressive. Her ability to tell the story through these three very different voices makes this a novel for readers of all ages and genders. Tedrowe is adept at making her readers feel the awkwardness, dislocation, sadness, fear, envy and embarrassment that her characters experience at different points of the novel -- but she is also very generous with second chances. Commuters is an engrossing read and there were passages where Tedrowe's beautiful writing really took my breath away. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    An absorbing read

    A wonderful family story on many levels. I really enjoyed that the focus of the book was a couple that were more mature and had extensive family. All those relatives provided engaging story lines and the elderly couple's story was at encouraging and heartbreaking all in one read.
    I enjoyed it immensely and recommended it to my book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Not the worst book I've read

    But certainly not the best either. It drags on and on in some areas, but then seems to skim over interesting information.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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