Waiting for Augusta: 10/23/16
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson is a road trip story of a boy who can hear the voice of his dead father. His father's dying wish was to have his ashes scattered on the eighteenth green at Augusta. Ultimately, though, it's the appearance of a traveling girl, Noni, who gets him on the road.
At first glance this book seems like a simple tale of a pair of almost teenagers heading on a road trip: one to lay a father at rest, the other to find her father. But this book is more. The true story is lurking in the songs that Noni sings and in the tropes of the road.
Like Dayton Duncan, Noni has a set of rules to travel by. Her rules include:
These rules both set the tone of the book and give insight into Noni.
Next there is their methods of travel. They go by bus: the modern day (as of 1972, the setting of this book) method for those without a car. Then they go by farm truck, stolen from a farmhouse. Then they go by train. When that fails, they are forced to walk.
Each method of travel peels back another layer of the mystery that is Noni. Each method inspires another song and another story. Pay attention!
From Noni's first introduction, I was reminded of Nora, a character from the manga / anime, Norgami. As Noni's interest in hobo culture (something that was forty years in the past from the context of the novel) is revealed I was reminded of "That Hell-Bound Train" by Robert Bloch, first published in 1958. Then there is "The Passerby" episode of The Twilight Zone. All these thoughts were swirling in my head so that halfway through the book I had figured out the delightful twist to this book.