3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever been driving and can’t see the road in front of you because of a horrible snowstorm? Every muscle in your body is tense as you try your best to ascertain what is ahead and to keep from sliding off the road. That is how I felt as I shared the drivers’ journeys while reading this thrilling tale of a disastrous snowstorm in Kansas.
Several travelers head out on the road to various destinations with one thing in common, they are traveling through the western part of Kansas to encounter one of the worse experiences of their lives. Their vehicles are diverse (minibuses, an RV, an 18 wheeler, and various other trucks and cars). Some of the wayfarers stop at a diner along the way and are warned by Agnes, the owner, that a massive snowstorm is likely coming. Hence, everyone should be extra cautious. There is nothing confirmed in the weather forecast about bad weather, though. So, they keep going. Suddenly, a Siberian Express blows in. For those readers who don’t know what a Siberian Express is, this is the definition (according to Agnes), “ ‘If a storm is coming out of the Arctic and slamming into the prairie at breakneck speed, loaded with tons of snow, we call it a Siberian Express.’ ” With no means of communication with the outside world, dangerously low temperatures, and no help arriving for the foreseeable future, the broad array of travelers must learn to work together to survive this disaster.
A-Drift on the Road, written by Cynthia J Dueringer, is a suspenseful tale that kept me on the edge of my chair. The reader encounters a diverse assortment of characters at the beginning, some who are likable and some who are not, as the author builds the background for the story. Her descriptions and realistic dialogue make each character feel known. These are some of the unlucky travelers in this thrilling story: an egotistical, self-centered, rich lawyer, three intelligent “nerds”, three teenage girls sneaking away for a meeting with a boyfriend, a minister heading towards a new congregation, a brave young man who wants to be a ski instructor, a tough, fatherly truck driver, a man who seems to be heading towards a life of crime, and his younger brother—who always gets entangled with his escapades. The author manages to develop the characters superbly.
The author’s writing style is fluid, realistic, and totally engrossing. Her descriptions of the scenes are so believable and intense I had to keep reminding myself to relax. Also, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t freezing, snowing, and windy outside my house. My favorite aspect of the book is the author’s ability to transport the reader into the story.
Another thing to appreciate is the author’s sense of humor that is a little tongue-in-cheek at times. She diffuses the tension intermittently with something humorous. After concluding the book with what seems to be the “official ending,” she included a brief paragraph of an alternate ending that left me chuckling.
Regrettably, I discovered too many errors in the story, which took the form of punctuation flaws, misspelled words, occasional formatting issues (no double spaces between paragraphs), etc. This was my least favorite aspect of the book. It could use a professional editor.
I genuinely want to award this delightful story a 4 rating, but sadly, the errors prevent this. Therefore, it receives 3 out of 4 stars. It is recommended to readers who enjoy suspenseful novels with great characters and a little humor. There is no sex in the book, but there are a few instances of profanity. Therefore, it wouldn’t be suitable for young children. With the parent’s approval, it should be appropriate for a teenager.
Matthew, the minister, offered several prayers during the story, which is completely understandable under the circumstances. He prayed in a way that should be unoffensive to anyone.
Oh, one last comment, I think this story would make an excellent disaster film!
A-Drift on the Road
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