Parnassus On Wheels by Christopher Morley
January’s book club pick, selected in large part because of its short length. Our meetings are early in the month and that doesn’t give a lot of time to read after holiday craziness ends. This title ended up being an ideal choice – it’s easy to read, and quite enjoyable.
The description of the book didn’t compel me to try it, so if that doesn’t catch your attention either don’t be dissuaded. Helen’s voice is strong and it was easy to follow along with her new adventures as she raced away from the endless procession of meals and laundry.
The ending was easy to predict, but that didn’t diminish my overall pleasure in the story. Quick and easy it’s a great pick if you have trouble devoting a lot of time or mental energy to a book.
There’s also a sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, although I haven’t read it yet.
Parnassus on Wheels is Morley’s first novel, about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her older brother, Andrew. Andrew is a former businessman turned farmer, turned author. As an author, he begins using the farm as his Muse rather than a livelihood. When Mifflin shows up with his traveling bookstore, Helen buys it–partly to prevent Andrew from buying it–and partly to treat herself to a long-overdue adventure of her own.
The first of two novels to be written from a woman’s perspective, as well as the prequel to a later novel (The Haunted Bookshop), Parnassus on Wheels was inspired by David Grayson’s novel, The Friendly Road, and starts with an open letter to Grayson, taking him to task for not concerning himself (except in passing) with his sister’s opinion of and reaction to his adventure.
Title: Parnassus On Wheels
Author: Christopher Morley
My Rating: 4 Stars
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