Shirley Hopper, (Mutt) escapes her life of misery. Being a hobo on the open road is preferable to staying at the run down family farm in Mississippi with her brutal father. Mutt joins others like her, hopping trains and riding across the USA, working in fields and orchards doing any menial tasks for the little pay she could get.
After a particularly bad day, Mutt ends up staying on a farm in Nebraska, sleeping in a barn for the night. It’s here that Mutt first sees the farmer’s daughter, Annie Callahan, an aspiring actress, she’s immediately smitten. Little does Mutt know that this one chance meeting will ultimately change her life forever.
In the years that follow, Mutt’s life is hard. But, she never forgets her meeting with Annie. When Mutt sees Annie again, all the old feelings begin to boil close to the surface again. Mutt can see that Annie’s dreams have come true. She’s now an actress married to one of Hollywood’s big stars, wealthy and without a care in the world. Annie is out of her reach. They are poles apart. Anyway, would Annie even remember her?
Even if Annie was willing, Mutt couldn’t possibly ask her to give up her luxurious, perfect life for love. Has the chance of love, the chance of being soul mates passed them by forever?
I buy every single book written by Robbi McCoy without even looking at the storyline. I know I’m going to get an excellent, well written, refreshingly different read with each new book. I am never disappointed.
This book spans decades, beginning in 1942 and centers around the life of Mutt after she’d run away from home and during the years that follow. Robbi must have done extensive research to enable the reader to live Mutt’s journey with her. From the wonderful descriptions of the places Mutt visits and the menial jobs she finds, it was really easy to immerse myself completely in the story and live it with Mutt and her friends. I could almost smell the smoke from the trains when Mutt was ‘riding the rails’, the farm yards and the fruit in the orchards.
Mutt’s life was hard. I have no wish to add in any spoilers. So, I’ll just say that this goes beyond any run of the mill romance story, although there is a deep and emotional, forever kind of love running through the book. Robbi has portrayed the life of a hobo in 1940’s America very well. The storyline contains so much. Homophobia, murder, nightclub raids, starvation and the lengths the poor had to go to just to survive. Their pain radiates from the pages. But, there is also a good humor throughout too, to lessen the angst.
If you are looking for a great story, with wonderful multidimensional characters, characters you’ll fall in love with, give this book a try. I was totally hooked in from the beginning and had to carry on reading in one sitting until the end.
Does Mutt get her girl? Is there a happy ever after? Read this book and find out.
This is on my re-read list to read at a more leisurely pace, so I can savor the story without the pressure of not knowing the ending.