The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Spring 2011 VPL book sale.
Read in April 2013.
Hattie Troutman was living in Paris with her boyfriend, but returns home to take care of her sister Min’s kids when Min has a psychotic break and is hospitalized. Hattie is 28; her nephew Logan is 15 and niece Thebes (short for Theodora) is 11.
Hattie is unsure about taking on this responsibility and decides to take the kids and go look for their father, Cherkis, who left years before. Which means… road trip! Yes, this is a road trip book. Love. Most of the story takes place on the road. Naturally, they have a crumbling van and stay at cheap motels in dusty towns populated by quirky characters.
They start in South Dakota, where Hattie knows Cherkis used to live. There, they get a lead that he moved to California, so they head off cross-country. On the way, they have adventures (of course).
I’m not sure when this is supposed to be set, but they drive across the border without showing ID and Hattie keeps making calls to the hospital to check on Min’s condition from pay phones, so I’ll assume back at least a decade (it was published in 2008).
I think I’ll stop here lest I say anything spoilery. I loved this book.