Terry Tierney’s new novel, Lucky Ride is a visit to a different era when the shadow of the Vietnam War colored all aspects of American life. It was a time of uncertainty for our nation, and all its people. People like Flash and Ronnie, living in Binghamton, New York who, after Flash’s time with the Seabees in Alaska ended, with orders to Vietnam that never showed up, are having some problems in their marriage. Flash is at loose ends, unemployed, maintaining himself just barely, it seems, in a marijuana haze. Ronnie’s been having an affair with her boss and Flash doesn’t know how to deal with it. His sister tells him he never deals with his emotions, and, in fact, he spends a lot of time smoking his troubles away. Flash can’t deal with the situation with Ronnie, her refusal to break it off with her boss, so he decides to take a trip, with a load of weed supplied by his friend Rick, who takes him as far as Fort Worth. Afterward, Flash plans to thumb his way to California where his former Seabee friend, Jack, lives, to try to relive a little of what he and Ronnie had when they spent a week’s hiatus in California after boot camp with their friends Walt and Donna.
On the way to California he visits various old friends, some women along the way that he knows from the past, a couple ex-wives of former Navy guys he’d worked with, including Donna, testing the waters, wondering if his marriage is salvageable, if there’s a better life out there for him, if he can ever forgive Ronnie.
Lost as he seems, Flash’s journey is one seeking to find himself and to figure out where his life is going. We sympathetically follow him on all his adventures on this trip, following all the dusty embankments, curving roads, and colorful characters he meets and old friends he visits on the way.
And when Flash gets to California he has to decide whether he'll return to Binghamton, to rebel Ronnie, or move on, seek a new life in California.
You won’t be able to resist riding along with Flash in his journey, wondering, as he does, where his life will take him, and rooting for him all the while to make the best choice. But what is that choice? It’s not an easy one and not always clear, so let’s just pause a moment and light up this next joint.
This is a great first novel by Terry Tierney; it’s one we at Blue Lake truly admire and highly recommend.
See LUCKY RIDE on Amazon