Can you believe January is flying by so fast? We are still hoping for more snow around here before it’s spring.
Today I am really excited to share a review of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. I was first drawn to this novel because of the cover and the title. I thought the cover was just gorgeous and the title intrigued me. The description solidified my curiosity about this story. It took some time to get the book from my library but it was well worth the wait!
- This road trip book is a fun journey across the United States. I enjoyed this journey that all the characters go on. What a story they all have to tell!
- I love the questions Rodeo always asks people who want to ride on the bus especially about people’s favorite books and places. I love the connections to some of my favorite reads like The One and Only Ivan and Anne of Green Gables. And I love the places and food that are special to the various people who travel on Yager.
According to Goodreads, “Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished – the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box – she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys….
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after”.”
At the center of this journey is a cast of truly unique and memorable characters. They make this story relatable and heartfelt. Coyote and her dad Rodeo are travelling the country trying to forget their past complete with new legal names and a list of “no-no” topics they can’t discuss. Lester wants to find his lady but also must decide what is most important to him.. Salvador and his mom are looking for a new beginning but they also discover friendship and loyalty. Val wants a safe place but also teaches others how to be strong and the importance of honesty. Gladys surprises them all. And Ivan seems to hold the whole group together. They are all so real and authentic. I loved how they form a family for a time on the bus.
I loved Coyote’s point of view in the story and how she sees the world. I think Coyote’s point of view is what makes the style of this book one of my favorites. This story is beautifully written and much of that has to do with Coyote’s perspective. Her descriptions of sunsets and mountains, sandwiches and stories were so engaging. She manages to see the good in the world even with her tragic past. She misses her mother and sisters but she is also trying to be strong for her father. I admired her journey and how she is able to talk about what hurts and heal from her past.
The setting on Yager the former school bus turned RV-like home is unique and fun. I loved the way that Coyote and Rodeo have made it a home. Loved that that they have a bookshelf full of novels and how those stories shape them. They even have a potted garden, a bedroom section for Coyote and an upper railing that Coyote takes Salvador up to. It’s a very unique little home. And it represents a unique life. Coyote and Rodeo have been driving around the country for YEARS. She doesn’t go to school. They use public restrooms and eat mostly gas station food. It’s a completely different way of life. Perhaps it’s not super realistic. Although, whose to say you can’t live a nomadic life. I think the key is that it represents them hiding and running from their grief and problems. They don’t communicate well at the beginning of the story about what really matters. But their journey in good ole Yager helps them understand that they need grieve.
There are many journeys in this story that create a beautiful story. This novel is about overcoming grief, sorrow, and the past. Everyone on Yager has something they are trying to heal from or move forward from. They all have trials and hardships yet they all want to find a better life, a more full life. I really loved the ways Coyote and Rodeo are able to heal together. It takes some time and they certainly have a long way to go but they are trying. The journey to get the memory box is just fantastic. There are so many twists and turns along the way. Coyote is trying to get there without Rodeo knowing and there are so many obstacles! The bus breaks down, they need to drop people off in Michigan, Idaho, Oregon. Someone gets left behind. They host an impromptu violin recital. And they run a lot. I loved the ending with the potential for a new home and a new stability and new understanding for Coyote and her dad.
Overall, a fantastic, heartfelt novel that I loved! The characters are vibrant and relatable. The story is unique and clever. And I loved the ending. Be aware that there are mentions of lesbian relationships and an intense perspective on police officers at the end. But these do not take away from the overall beauty of the story or incredible journey towards healing and hope for all the characters. A great book!
Have you read other books in the road trip genre?
What are some of your favorite unique settings?