The mysteries of love are as complicated as the webs woven by the spiders. However, can love be found by simply following one’s happiness? In this contemporary fiction, Jeep Tour, Gail Ward Olmsted takes the readers on an exploration of sorts to solve this riddle. Jackie Sullivan, aka Jax, has lived a very organized life, following rules. And still, she finds herself unfulfilled. Even after getting a divorce, Jax and Robbie, her ex-husband, find ways to stay in each other’s lives and beds. This already tricky equation is further complicated when Jax takes a trip to Sedona. The backdrop of the desert becomes all the more fascinating when she falls for her tour guide, Rick. For the first time in her life, she takes a leap of faith and moves to Sedona, leaving her life behind, to give herself a second chance. Her hopes, however, come crashing down when she realizes Rick, the most important factor of her move, doesn’t even remember her. What follows is a series of sleepless nights and stubborn doubts as she attempts to make sense of her life.
After reading any of Gail Ward Olmsted’s books, one thing becomes crystal clear; she draws the inspiration for her fiction from the real world and real problems. Her characters are not the best of the philosophers or creators or charmers, and yet, they are realistic. Jax, for instance, has the same insecurities as the next woman. She is pushing forty and is alone. Having an affair with her ex-husband gives her a temporary respite from the long days of loneliness, but it doesn’t give her a sense of permanent security. She has an ability to laugh at herself; at the same time, she has a tendency to self-deprecate herself. These are the attributes of real people. They are flawed, sometimes insensitive to other’s needs, and absolutely self-absorbed at times. The side characters are no different than the protagonist. They, too, have unpredictable mood swings that make the story all the more engaging.
It’s Whack-a-Mole! You never get more crap than you can actually handle, but it can be overwhelming at times and you never know what’s around the corner.– Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted
Gail Ward Olmsted’s Jeep Tour is a perfect companion for long afternoons. As the plot is based on a woman looking for happiness, the audience finds themselves silently hopeful for her success. After all, if Jax can find happiness, so can the readers. As she stumbles in the path of love, the readers identify with their own struggles of romance. Jeep Tour will resonate with the readers who have been mulling over a broken or complicated relationship, contemplating a move, or thinking of giving second chance to themselves. The author’s narration has a conversational tone that feels as though we are sitting together, sipping a cup of tea, while she is telling us the life story of Jax. One more commendable aspect of her storytelling is the humorous bits she lays down to make the audience smile. Along the way, we get extraordinary wisdom to keep our own spirits high. Although there are no mind-blowing twists, there are lifelike obstacles in Jax’s path that keep the story absorbing throughout.
“No, certainly not, Miss? Miss?”
“Professor,” I retorted.
“No, Miss Professor, I was only trying to say that while a degree is a good thing to obtain, real life experience counts, too.– Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted
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