I'll Meet You There: 12/17/15
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios is a classic inverse on the road trip novel. While city dwellers pass through rural areas on the blue highways to find themselves, those living on the bypassed routes are desperate for escape.
Skylar Evans is a seventeen year old artist living somewhere along US 99 in California. This is farmland and the alternate route south when I5 is closed or too congested. Job opportunities are slim to none. She has a way out through an art degree at a San Francisco college if she can untangle herself from her mother who has turned to alcohol to self medicate her depression at the loss of her husband.
In that last summer at home Skylar comes to terms with her life in rural California and the ways others have either tried to escape or have decided to accept their situation.
Her biggest eye opener is a young man named Josh who has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg. He is trying to pretend everything is back to normal but Sklyar can see the way people look at him and his leg.
I'll Meet You There takes us through the monotony of rural life, especially in times of economic uncertainty. She spends her time working at the one motel in the town, one that is themed like the more famous Madonna Inn on US101 in San Luis Obispo, but done on the cheap. She also tries to get better jobs further out but that option is dependent on her having a working car, which she doesn't always have. Finally she has to come to terms that she can't continue taking care of her own mother, or that she should be expected to.
It's not the most uplifting of stories but it is a thought provoking one.