The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech
This sophomore offering by the author of the mystical Season of the Dragonflies introduces readers to country singer and fiddle play Jo Lover who is about to make it bigger on the country music scene than in her wildest dreams. She has carefully cultivated her image which is about to be placed in jeopardy when her small record label merges with Columbia Records who brings along her ex-boyfriend J.D. Gunn. When the record execs dream up a joint concert for the duo, their chemistry takes over and the pair goes viral and Jo becomes afraid of not only having to give up her dreams of being a solo artist but is also fearful that the secrets of the past that she has so carefully hidden will be revealed destroying her carefully crafted persona. Jo soon realizes there may only be one way to get her career back, but at what cost. Soulful and bittersweet, plays out like a country music song and illustrates the often unseen, at times uglier side of the music industry and the struggles artists, especially women, must face in order to realize their dreams. As Jo learns, though, success and happiness don’t always go hand in hand nor do they necessary line up with one’s dreams and how success and happiness were viewed. Creech is a fresh voice in woman’s fiction; book groups will find much to discuss, perhaps against a background of country music.