Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O' Connor
* 2012 Rebecca Caudill Nominee *
Aggie Duncan doesn't want to sell the motel that she and her husband have had forever. But now that her husband has died, she can't take care of it by herself. Clyde Dover has offered to buy the motel. He brings his daughter, Willow, who has been having a hard time since her mother left them. She feels as if she's in the middle of nowhere in this motel in the Great Smoky Mountains.
It is not too long before Kirby comes with his mother. She is driving him to a reform school, but their car breaks down. Loretta also comes with her adoptive parents. They are on a summer excursion to try to find clues about her birth mother. Loretta feels as if she will be connected to her if she visits the same places as her mother. Everyone checks in at the motel and they all pitch in to help the motel and each other. They will never forget each other and they all make plans to meet again.
This realistic fiction has a feel-good tone and Aggie appears to be the character who pulls everyone together and brings out the best in everyone. What a moving multi-generational novel! Hope, fear, and joy are all explored and really make a statement of the family in the 21st century. (Yes, this is the same author who wrote How To Steal a Dog.)