Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Rhythm of the Road by Albyn Leah Hall

Meet Jo and Bobbie. Jo is 12 and Bobbie is her father, the year is 1998 and Bobbie is a truck driver in England and Jo goes with him on his journeys. Jo and Bobbie love country music and also get along great. There is no mother in the picture. One day they pick up a hitchhiker, Cosima, she sings and plays fiddle in a country band. Cosima gives them a cd before they drop her off. Then later on….Jo and Bobbie are still driving around and they happen to see that Cosima and her band are playing, so they stop for the show. This is a story of how Jo, who has no other friends and doesn’t hang out with kids her own age, becomes infatuated with Cosima and looks to Cosima as a friend. When Jo is 17, she once again sees the band play live and this time somehow hangs out with them after the show. By now she has started drinking and smoking. This night…the band gives her drugs as well and she has sex for the first time, with Cosima’s boyfriend and fellow band member. Then Bobbie is gone and Jo has nobody, only Jo thinks Cosima is her friend. Jo starts to, well, stalk Cosima. She calls her and some of the band members constantly, she seems to show up at their flats and invite herself on their outings, she even goes so far as to break into Cosima’s flat when they aren’t there. The band keeps trying to get rid of Jo, only Jo doesn’t realize Cosima doesn’t want her around and she continues to contact her. The band heads to the states to do a tour and Jo (who found a copy of their tour when she broke into the flat) decides to head to the states and follow the band. This is when things really turn ugly. Jo meets up with the wrong type of people, learns how to shoot a gun, does more drugs and drinks even more and has sex with strangers. All this time though..Jo is still trying to be Cosima’s friend and be just like Cosima.

I really enjoyed this story. It was fun for me because they are from England and therefore, the author has them talking like it. You can almost hear the English and Irish accents. This is really a story of Jo coming of age. She has always had Bobbie and nobody else, no girls/friends her own age and no mother. Jo is very vulnerable and longs for a friend and to be pretty/attractive. She becomes infatuated with Cosima and will do whatever it takes to make her be her friend. I thought it was a great story. Jo is a good kid, things spiral out of control, and I wanted to know what would happen and if she would “learn” from her mistakes.

One interesting thing about how this book was written. When it first starts out the first chapter is about Jo and Bobbie, and Jo is 12. The second chapter is about Bobbie and the first time he meets Jo’s Mother. Each chapter gives you another piece of the story. Then…it changes and instead of every other chapter being about Bobbie and Rosalie (the mother) it is about Bobbie and Jo as a baby. Finally, Bobbie is gone and it is just Jo’s story.

New author/fiction/309pgs

1 comment:

Lover of Books said...

That book sounds really good! I'll have to see if my library has it. :)