Review by Cindy G.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy was one of the first monumental things that happened when I was a child. There are so many angles to this time period in American history. November Road, by Lou Berney, is a fictional book that may help us understand one small but interesting piece of what happened in Dallas, Texas in November 1963.
We follow fictional mobster Frank Guidry, who works for the real-life mobster Carlos Marcello. As a known criminal, Marcello was eventually brought to trial as the possible mob boss who helped orchestrate the assassination. In the book, Frank knows too much about what happened in Dallas during that fateful week. The author describes how the mob may kill its own people in back alleys to protect itself from leaks. Frank has heard he needs to protect himself, decides to head to Las Vegas, and along the way runs into a runaway housewife named Charlotte. She has left her abusive husband on the spur of the moment, her car has broken down, and she is nearly panic-stricken. Frank has always been an independent and lonesome mobster, but feels that pretending to fall in love with Charlotte and have her and her two children with him would benefit him tremendously–while being potentially dangerous for them all.
Are mobsters following Frank, Charlotte and the kids as they make their trek across the country in his car? Charlotte falls in love quickly with this generous, worldly, handsome man. Does Frank have a hidden, softer side? Or is he simply using this struggling family as a cover as he approaches his actual “family,” criminals who may or may not have his back. I rate this book 5/5, a wonderful historical fiction, nicely swirled with an interesting mystery, that made me think of the 1960s in a new way.
Cindy G. has worked for Howard County Library System for 12 years. She loves cooking, reading, maps, and spending time with her family.