Warner, Jan 2004, 12.00
In 1933 three men linked by their work as ice deliverymen agree to travel together accompanied by their families on Route 66 to California. Elmer Kinnard takes his adult daughter Margie though he detests her. Alvin Putnam, his wife Grace and their blind adult son Rusty are in another vehicle. Rounding out the party is Foley Luker, his new bride Sugar and his two teens from his first wife Jody and Mona. On the road they meet Brady Hoyt taking his five year old orphaned niece Anna Marie to her aunt to live.
The road may be filled with hope, but it is a tedious and dangerous trek. Elmer is nasty to Marge and not much better with anyone else. Alvin is kind to all and his wife “adopts” Anna Marie as hers on the trip. Foley sees only Sugar and not how cruel she is to his children. Brady helps everyone, but struggles with doing the right thing for Anna Marie, the survivor of a family tragedy. As romance blooms between Mona and Rusty and between Brady and Marge, some will die on the trip while others will choose an alternate lifestyle than the Golden State fantasy when a new dream beckons.
The sequel to MOTHER ROAD, HOPE'S HIGHWAY, is an engaging piece of Americana before the Interstate system. The ensemble cast each has a distinct personality though Elmer and Sugar are too negative with no redeeming quality between them; the rest of the road show characters display caring warm personalities with flaws and doubts that make them human. Once again Dorothy Garlock proves no one knows the Depression Era road rules like she does.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner