Reviewed by Melanie Kline
Billy Keyhoe is not having a good day. Not good at all. After waking up with a hangover and having a fight with his girlfriend, Billy decides that he has to get out of town. He knows that he’s beaten Wendy up one too many times and her daddy has threatened to kill him before. Billy’s not good at making plans, it runs in his family, and the only thing he can think of is to get out of Georgia and that “something will come up”.
Nina is the clerk at Earl’s 66 when Billy drops in for gas. She too has had enough of being used by Billy, so when he decides to rob the station after getting her half naked in a back room, she takes matters into her own hands and shoots Billy while he is running for the door.
As Billy flies down the highway in his ’65 ragtop Cadillac, he reflects on his fight with Wendy and is completely immersed in his thoughts until he reaches a four way crossing in the middle of nowhere. He pulls to the side of the road “to stretch his legs, maybe take a piss”. Suddenly, the most beautiful girl he has ever laid eyes on appears by his car and speaks to him, causing him to spit the whiskey he’s just taken a swig of all over the place.
Feather wants to ride out of town with Billy and the ensuing story begins twisting Billy’s reality. Did she really just say that? How could she know that? Where did she come from? Billy is hooked and realizes after just a short time that he is completely in love with Feather.
As I put Driving Alone down after finishing it, I couldn’t decide if the ending was as inevitable as it seemed or the most disappointing ending to the story I could imagine. I was not ready for it to be over and would gladly have read hundreds of pages more if they had been there.
Driving Alone was an amazing read – short, to the point, and wasted no time reeling me into the story. I read it cover to cover within hours of it arriving in the mailbox and was left wanting more. I will definitely search out more from Kevin Lynn Helmick and if his other books are even a fraction as good as Driving Alone, I will have a new section of “favorites” on my bookshelves.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Blank Slate Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.