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Boondocking : a novel
Tricia Bauer
Adult Fiction BAUER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The concept is promising: a couple with custody of their baby granddaughter flees across the country in an RV to keep her out of reach of her no-good father. But Bauer (Working Women and Other Stories) can't make this vehicle go anywhere. Still recovering from their daughter's death (in a car accident caused by their stoned son-in-law), Sylvia and Clayton Vaeth are willing to sacrifice everything to raise Rita out of harm's way. As they settle in the front seat, gun the motor and watch their Maryland home of 31 years fade into the distance, we wonder about several things past, present and future: What was their daughter's downfall? What really happened the day she died? Is her widower, Melvin, as evil as Sylvia and Clayton think? We never receive satisfactory answers to these questions. Instead, we watch the trio go from one campground to another, Sylvia and Clayton struggling to maintain their sometimes fragile union amid the strains of raising a child and of fearing that Melvin lurks in the aisles of every gas-station convenience store. The tension becomes less and less palpable as we watch Rita grow up into a pouty preteen on the road. When Melvin does materialize, we're still left in the dark, stuck at arm's length from the characters, for Bauer treats every climactic scene, every chance to get into her characters' skin, with the same stoical frugality, dismissing each in a few unrevealing pages. The novel glides by on its own private highway, its passengers inscrutable, a blur behind the glass. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Boondocking through the lower 48‘traveling by recreational vehicle from one temporary campsite to another‘isn't exactly the American Dream, nor are the Vaeths the ideal family. They embark on this peripatetic lifestyle to keep their granddaughter, Rita, from her unstable father, Melvin, who accidently killed Rita's mother while driving under the influence of angel dust. Pulling up roots and leaving their ranch-style home in Baltimore wasn't the retirement the Vaeths had envisioned, but this rackety senior citizens' version of On The Road-meets-Travels with Charley has its peculiar charms. Rita thrives and decides to keep on moving, even after reuniting with her strange, disaffected father, now living in an Idaho survivalist compound. In this surprising gem of a first novel, Bauer (Working Women and Other Stories, LJ 8/95) writes with a fresh eye for the minutiae of everyday life, reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver and Bobbie Ann Mason.‘Jo Manning, formerly with Reader's Digest Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Clayton Vaeth
Male
Age: Senior citizen
Grandfather

Sylvia Vaeth
Female
Age: Senior citizen
Grandmother

Rita
Female
Age: Child



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