In the mid-1950s, Jack Dayton flees his working-class prospects in Omaha and heads to Hollywood, convinced he’ll be the next James Dean. But sleazy casting couches don’t earn him stardom, and despair leads to a series of poor decisions that ultimately find him at a cheap motel off Route 66, lifeless at the bottom of the pool.
Sixty years later, Tag Manning, feeling hopeless and empty, flees his most recent relationship mistake and takes to the open road. On a roundabout route to Las Vegas, he pulls over to rest at an isolated spot on Route 66. There’s no longer a motel or pool, but when Tag resumes his journey to Vegas, he finds he’s transporting a hitchhiking ghost. Jack and Tag come to find much-needed friends in each other, but one man is a phantom and the other is strangely cursed. Time is running out for each of them, and they must face the fact that a future together may not only be a gamble… it may not be in the cards.
I can honestly say “Motel.Pool.” is one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s been a while since I’ve been sucked into a book and not wanted to put it down. Jack and Tag were wonderful and the author did an incredible job creating characters that were firmly placed in their own time period. The 1950’s came alive through Jack and Tag was the perfect current day man. And together? Together they were perfect. The author deftly handled the interaction between a live man and a ghost, which is no easy task.
Jack’s ghostly status was one of the things that kept me turning the pages. I kept wondering how the characters were going to stay together. Well, the author took the characters (and me!) on quite a roller coaster ride through their relationship. I sobbed through part of the book and was thrilled with the way the book resolved in a beautiful, plausible way.