Detours by Jeffrey Ricker

by Jeffrey Ricker
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Published Date: November 19, 2011
ISBN: 1602825777 (ISBN13: 9781602825772)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Joel Patterson should be happier than ever. He's just returned from a two-week vacation in London, where he met Philip, who might be the man of his dreams. Instead, Joel's heading to Maine for his mother's funeral. He quits his job to fulfill one last request for his mother: unload his parents' albatross of an RV by delivering it to an old family friend—in California.

Somehow, Joel's high school "friend" Lincoln has invited himself along on the ride—and into Joel's bed. The other person who's invited herself along? The ghost of his mother, who still has plenty to say about her son's judgment (or lack thereof). Joel has to get the RV to San Francisco, get rid of Lincoln, and get back to Philip. It would also make him feel better if he learned what's keeping his mother tied to this earthly plane. However Joel manages it, the route is likely to be anything but straight.
My thoughts:

I took away so much more than I think the author may have intended, I say that in a good way. Have you ever had a dialogue in a movie, or the words in a song reach you in a place so deeply hidden behind the walls you have built to protect your fragile soul? Well, this book did it for me and honestly, I don't know why it affected me the way it did.

Detours is about saying goodbye and moving on. It was so profound it took me a bit to be able to put what I was feeling into words. By the middle of the book I had this foreboding feeling of something I didn’t want to face and by the last few chapters I had tightness in my chest and my eyes began to blur. I couldn’t put a name to it, it was a path I didn’t want to continue. I tried to ignore it at first but the truth of the matter, I have been putting it off, it was saying “goodbye”.

While reading this, it brought a slew of feelings of loss, loneliness, grief, and finality, ones I have put high upon a shelf. Feelings I have locked away, not wanting to deal with them. I felt the pain of mourning when reading the pages of what Joel’s was facing when he was saying goodbye to his friendship with Matt and Carrie, never knowing if he would ever get back to see them, leaving his beloved dog behind and, after just beginning to build a bond with his father after his mother’s death, he struggles with never knowing if he would ever get back to Maine to visit.

I love the dialogue between Joel and his mother, it was witty and heartwarming. I enjoyed everything about this book, it made me think of all the friends I have met and have promised to keep in touch with but never did and how quickly they have drifted away without barely a struggle, life is fragile never knowing when it will be the last time you will see someone. Don’t put off telling those around you how you feel and live each day doing things you enjoy, get out of the dead end job, get out of the unfaithful marriage, step outside your comfort zone. Life is meant to be enjoyed, explored, expanded and lived!!!

This was a great read, do yourself a favor and go out and buy this book!!

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
About Jeffrey Ricker:

I'm a writer, editor, and graphic designer living in St. Louis, Mo. My first novel, Detours, will be published in November 2011 by Bold Strokes Books. I've been published in the anthologies Paws and Reflect, Fool for Love, and Blood Sacraments, the literary magazine Collective Fallout, and my short story "New Normal" is available for download from Untreed Reads. I have stories coming out this year in Speaking Out, Wilde Stories 2011, and Men of the Mean Streets.


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