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Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
When Simmy Jackson discovers her family is intent on moving from Buffalo to Utah, she is puzzled. Curiosity gives way to dismay when she realizes that the inspiration behind their exodus is none other than their cuckoo Aunt Beaner's consultations with her Ouija board. It's bad enough that their new home is in a remote location; there seems to be no future for them there. However, her family's quirky habits and unusual ability to band together when the chips are down and their backs against the wall are sorely tested as they evolve. Years later, Simmy recalls the events and the principal characters whose actions set in motion an irreversible chain of events in their family life in Gwen Banta's Enduv Road.
In Gwen Banta's emotional novel, a family chronicles their origins in astonishing detail. Her storyline is simple to follow as it flows from past to present and back again in a fluid and interesting manner. The characters are a curious collection with deep backstories laced with one oddity or the other creating some excellent comic relief. Beaner, as her nickname suggests, is an obvious example of the family nutcase, and Lefty's shenanigans are exciting to follow. The subplots are as varied as one would expect in a dramatic tale that spans generations, but it is still lovely to see the romance and mystery subplots noticeably dominate the flow. Banta deserves plaudits; Enduv Road combines interesting subplots with unusual characters to deliver a family-oriented drama to appeal to a broad audience irrespective of their leanings.