After his job lays him off, Cosmo Greco takes his sister, Silvia, up on her offer to drive to Portland. At the beginning of the trip, a Mack truck wipes them off the road, nearly killing them. This near-death experience is a wake-up call for Cosmo, and he begins to question the life he's been leading. He realizes that he's not happy and he wants to make a change. A number of encounters along the way reinforce this desire, but he's afraid to leave the familiarity of his humdrum existence for the unknown. His journey is set against the backdrop of the American road with vivid and soulful descriptions and a cast of colorful characters. This book is the sequel to "Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees" and the second book in the Greco family trilogy, although it can be read as a stand-alone.
"The characters the two siblings meet along the way-whether delightfully crazy or attractive or lost-serve as foils for a kind of personal growth particular to a road-trip scenario, and the landscape of the vast space between the East and West coasts acts as a catalyst for emotional and spiritual change. Author Mattioli (Olive Branches Don't Grow on Trees, 2012) writes in an assured voice that carries the story through its potentially sentimental passages, and...by the end, (readers) may be surprised find that they, too, have undergone an emotional odyssey...poignant and well-drawn." Kirkus Reviews
"A warm blend of travel and observation, family interrelationships, and reflections that ultimately capture the meaning and purpose of getting away and journeying to new places...a soaring story of one man's exploration of new possibilities, new worlds, and ultimately, a newfound purpose to life." Midwest Book Review
"As you feel yourself traveling with these Grecos, you see Cosmo's world open and expand with each cathartic, soothing and beautiful scene or person he discovers." Ruth Amernick, reviewer for Library Journal
"(This book) is about the monotony we assume is a part of adulthood and the mediocrity we're content to settle for. Through Cosmo's shoes, the reader's perspectives are quietly opened to new possibilities." The Lit Room Reviews