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Sweet Dreams at the Goodnight Motel
by Curtiss Ann Matlock

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 077832091X

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Sweet Dreams at the Goodnight Motel
Curtiss Ann Matlock
Mira, Oct 2004, $12.95, 366 pp.
ISBN: 077832091X

In Shreveport, Legal Secretary Claire Wilder receives an epiphany when she reads a message on a bathroom door of a truck stop about “… looking for life”. Claire concludes she wasted the last two years of her life working for a crappy boss while waiting for Andrew, her former spouse of almost two decades, to realize he made a mistake leaving her for a younger woman. She decides to leave town to find her estranged father who she has not seen since he walked out on her and her mother when Claire was a little girl. Just before leaving Andrew tells her he wants to come back to Claire, but she says she will consider this when she comes back from Oklahoma.

After quitting her job, she travels to Valentine, Oklahoma, the last place where she knew her dad lived. In Valentine, few people remember her dad and those that do recall very little about him. However, Claire is adopted by nonagenarian Winston Valentine, becomes close friends with septuagenarian drugstore owner Vella Blaine, and “adopts” abandoned pregnant teen Sherrilyn Earles even as Deputy Sheriff Travis Ford keeps a close eye on her. Claire is happy with her new relationships until Andrew arrives expecting she will take him back.

The latest visit to Valentine is a warm tale starring a coming of age (though Claire is middle age) woman seeking a modicum of happiness in a life that she feels has past her by with little contentment. The support cast in Louisiana and Oklahoma enable the reader to see the transformation of Claire through their eyes. The story line is character driven as Claire seeks her roots and finds a life.

Harriet Klausner


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