Yesterday Road - kindle ebook by Kevin Brennan

What would you do if you couldn’t remember what happened yesterday? Is identity just the sum of all our memories, or is it something more? If we can’t remember something -- something wonderful, or terrible -- does that mean it might as well have never happened?

These are the questions I wanted to tackle in my novel, Yesterday Road.

All octogenarian Jack Peckham wants to do is make his way home. But “home,” it turns out, is a tough nut to crack.

In this “coming-of-old-age” tale, Jack finds himself on a journey into his distant past, helped along the way by Joe Easterday, a young man with Down syndrome, and Ida Pevely, a middle-aged waitress with her own mountain of regrets. Jack has a hundred grand in cash that he can’t explain, since he can’t remember yesterday much less forty years ago. He’s not entirely sure, either, how it is that he got separated from his daughter, Linda. She’ll be worried about him.

Setting out from Northern California for “points east,” he gets lost, carjacked, abandoned, and tangled up in dreams, but he’s always homing in on the one object of his inner drive — home.

Ida takes charge, but Jack’s inner compass that seems to be guiding him to the pastoral land where he grew up makes her task, like her own life as a single mother, complicated. It’s a huge moral choice: help Jack get home, or turn him over to authorities for his own safety? Things get even stickier when Jack and Joe vanish with her car, and she feels like a lady Job, tested and taunted for her own bad choices.

With humor and plenty of unexpected turns, this lyrical and poignant tale of memory and identity reveals how it is the whole of experience — pain and regret along with love and pleasure — that gives life its fullness.

We all tow our histories behind us as we make our way down Yesterday Road.

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