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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Friends is a contemporary travel fiction novel written by Gary Hope. Bill was somewhat surprised to hear Allen’s voice on the other end of the line. Allen never called, even though they had literally grown up together and had known each other for decades. As usual, their conversation quickly devolved into banter, even as Allen proposed taking a trip together. Allen seemed somewhat taken aback by Bill’s easy acceptance of the proposition, despite knowing absolutely no details. The two did eventually agree that they’d be driving in a rental pickup truck and towing a camper as they toured the United States. Both of them were sixty-nine years old now. Allen’s wife had died of cancer eight months prior, and Bill’s wife had left him some years before. So, there was little to keep them from setting off together on what would be an unforgettable road trip.
Gary Hope’s contemporary travel fiction novel, Friends, follows two peripatetic wanderers who shrug off their day-to-day existence and set off to see the country. While the somewhat conservative attitudes of the two North Carolinians were often a bit harsh for what Bill and Allen would probably call my East Coast sensibilities, I particularly enjoyed their serendipitous approach to seeing the country. I loved experiencing the West Coast through their eyes, especially Big Sur, Monterey and the Redwood Empire, and did wonder, at times, at the places they didn’t visit. Their hikes in Sedona and the Grand Canyon are exceptionally well presented. As their trip finally drew to a close, I wondered if they might not want to turn around and start driving off once again, and found I was hoping they would do just that. Friends is highly recommended.