Morrissey, Bridget. A Thousand Miles. Berkley, 2022. ISBN 978-0593201176 368 pp. $15.99
Lots of drama fills this road trip tale about estranged lovers who made a promise ten years ago to retrace their epic travels from Illinois to to a decade after the first trip. Ben unexpectedly calls in this favor when his beloved Gam dies and her house needs clearing out. With some degree of shock–perhaps because of how quickly they fall into their old, familiar banter–Dee agrees to make the journey, since her hiatus lines up with teacher Ben’s summer break. Plus, there’s the matter of the Time Capsule they buried in Ben’s grandmother’s backyard…
Told in alternating voices, the narrative included occasional text exchanges and podcast scripts. The road trip includes obligatory planning the route (and side trips) in a greasy spoon, choosing snacks, and road trip games, including the License Plate game and the classic Truth or Dare that gives the characters space to unload some baggage and relive old memorials, while the ceremonial “recreating the previous road trip” activities they pursue, like bowling, allow them to get closer physically and emotionally.
Morrissey uses classic tropes to her advantage: there’s Hurt/Comfort when Dee gets ill, Forced Proximity in shared hotel rooms, and Only One Bed. After a few kisses and more than 500 miles, brash Dee finally gets up the nerve to ask what went wrong between them, and they resolve their relationship.
Now a podcaster, Ben is often referenced as Name Redacted on her podcast, Did I Forget to Tell You? The wondering why they haven’t talked in ten years while Dee still rewatches the old YouTube videos they made together in high school is an intriguing pull through an otherwise straightforward nostalgic plot. This is a must-read for fans of second-chance romance, and anyone who sometimes lives in their heads, wondering about The One That Got Away.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #AThousandMiles via #NetGalley.