Mystery Ride

Mystery Ride

4.0 3
by Robert Boswell
     
 

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A thoughtful, funny, and penetrating portrait of a modern American family that explores the breaches and bonds between husbands and wives, parents and children—and introduces one of the most incorrigible and affecting teenagers since Holden Caulfield.

Author Biography: Robert Boswell is the author of the acclaimed books Dancing in the Movies, Crooked

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Overview

A thoughtful, funny, and penetrating portrait of a modern American family that explores the breaches and bonds between husbands and wives, parents and children—and introduces one of the most incorrigible and affecting teenagers since Holden Caulfield.

Author Biography: Robert Boswell is the author of the acclaimed books Dancing in the Movies, Crooked Hearts, The Geography of Desire, Mystery Ride  and Living to be a Hundred. He is the recipient of many awards for his work, including a National Endowment for the Arts Felloship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Iowa School of Letters Award for short fiction. He lives with his wife, the writer Antonya Nelson, and their children in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Telluride, Colorado.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Boswell's memorable second novel, Crooked Hearts , about a dsyfunctional family, established his reputation on the literary scene. His next book, The Geography of Desire , was earnest but inchoate with his need to make a statement. This new work makes a brilliant return to the subject Boswell writes about with distinctive tenderness and humor: a marriage that has fractured, although the love husband and wife once felt for each other endures as a touchstone in their lives. The novel reflects Boswell's increasing maturity and wisdom; its characters--especially an exasperating teenager--are vivid and fresh, its truths poignant and penetrating. The ``Mystery Ride'' (from a Springsteen song) is marriage, and here is ``the almost inexhaustible mystery of love found and lost.'' Brimming with high ideals, Angela and Stephen Landis wed in the '60s and moved to a farm in Iowa, where their daughter Dulcie was born. Later, desperate for a life outside the confines of the farm and its small community, Angela left Stephen. She has remarried, and Dulcie is a rebellious, almost dangerously unstable adolescent when Angela returns to the farm for the first time in a decade to leave the fractious 15-year-old with her father. As Boswell cross-cuts among different events over a 20-year span, he draws a nuanced portrait of decent people striving to connect with each other. A fundamentalist Christian couple in the farm community is sketched with as much empathy as Angela's second, philandering husband and Stephen's understanding girlfriend. Boswell's compassion for his characters, his coherent control of motivation and plot, help him build to a series of tremendously affecting events, followed by Dulcie's quiet epiphany and an unforgettable ending. The dialogue has wit and energy, and the details of farm routine are rendered with impressive authenticity. Most important, the book is charged with insight, resonating with questions about how one leads a moral, fulfilling life and accepts the mystery of love. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Life, indeed, can be a mystery ride. Who can explain the bonds that hold us together when the odds so often seem stacked against us? The answer lies best in works by novelists like Boswell ( Crooked Hearts , LJ 6/1/87), whose latest effort focuses on an American family separated by time, distance, and generation. Angela Vorda and Stephen Landis have been divorced for ten years. Remarried, she lives and works in Los Angeles; single, with a live-in woman friend, he owns a small farm in Iowa. Their daughter, Dulcie, lives with her mother and suffers from more than the usual teenage angst. In an attempt to straighten out Dulcie, Angela arranges for her to spend the summer with Stephen. Struggling to adjust to these changed circumstances, both Dulcie and her father learn some important truths about life and love. Combining wisdom, humor, and poignancy in equal measure, this well-told tale inexorably draws in the reader. Highly recommended.-- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060975852
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/1994
Edition description:
1st HarperPerennial ed
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.81(d)

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Mystery Ride 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book about 14 years ago and never got around to reading it, until last week. I really liked it. It lacks the oppressive 'self-consciousness' of more recent acclaimed novels, and treats serious topics without taking itself too seriously. I found it odd that cows on the farm were named 'Gina' and 'Sylvia,' while the two main characters name their daughter 'Dulcie.' Dulcie sounds like a cow-name to me! Maybe there's something to this...Dulcie is a fascinating girl, sometimes inhumane and 'animal,' but always interesting. The animals in the story are portrayed as a vital part of our emotional and even spiritual landscape. Disparate personalities and values respect each other in this novel. The story ends with a sense of acceptance without being wrapped up artificially. Looking forward to finding more of this author's work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although it has been a while since I have read this book, I often recommend it to my friends. This is a story about real people, written so vividly that you feel as if you know the characters personally. When I finished reading it I wished there had been more! If anyone has ever had the feeling of having your dreams just out of reach then you will relate to this well told story. I am a fan of Robert Boswell's work, and Mystery Ride is my favorite!