Friday, November 11, 2016

Roasting Marshmallows on the Manifold

Last weekend, I picked up a book from Peoria author Linda Lowery called Roasting Marshmallows on the Manifold.

Roasting Marshmallows on the Manifold by [Lowery, Linda]

The book is a collection of short stories about cars and life. It's a memoir of sorts, with snapshots from the author's childhood, teen years, and adult life, all centered around stories about vehicles. There are stories about a car that almost killed her, a car that wouldn't die, and the adventures of getting one's driver's license (that was my personal favorite). At the end of the book, Lowery lists "Car Truisms & Family Car Quotes," a humorous and insightful addition. Example: "Never mention buying a new car in front of an old car. It will die quicker, just for spite."

I enjoyed this collection because the stories made me laugh, and the stories took me back to my childhood, too. Especially if you grew up in Peoria, you'll enjoy the references to Central Illinois culture, from Farmington Road to I-74 and, of course, Caterpillar.

Reading Lowery's tales, I pictured myself as a boy in the backseat of my parent's car and all the adventures we had. Mom and Dad loved to take rides at night, and they'd always bring me along. We'd drive over the I-74 bridge and enjoy the skyline of downtown Peoria. I remember the old drawbridge where the Bob Michel bridge is now. The drawbridge always scared me as a kid.

We'd listen to all sorts of music on the radio, from the Beach Boys to Madonna. Eventually, I got my own Walkman and listened to the music I preferred, but I'd stare out the window on these rides. Sometimes my parents would drive for hours. There was something about the open road they enjoyed.

Eventually, my father passed, and Mom lived with my grandmother. Mom battled cancer, but she took Grandma on nightly rides every night that she could up until the terrible disease took her.

This book will bring all of your car memories back to life. It's a fun, sweet read by a talented author, and I encourage you to check it out. Although I may never want to ride in a car with Lowery if she's driving after having read these tales, I'd definitely read more of her writing.

For more about the author, like her Facebook page here or visit her webpage,

Linda Lowery

Her other books include Murder in the Library and Stories in Sepia, and you can find all of her titles on Amazon.

Murder in the Library by [Lowery, Linda]


About me:

Joe Chianakas is the author of the novel Rabbit in Red and is a professor of communication at Illinois Central College. Follow him on Facebook here

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