Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

Posted October 17, 2014 | 16 Comments

Driftwood by Elizabeth DuttonDriftwood
Author: Elizabeth Dutton
Published by: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

How far would you go for your family? A smart and funny debut about road trips, music, love, and California for fans of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Run River and Killing Yourself to Live.

Los Angeles, California: Clem Jasper is a trust fund kid with a world famous rock musician for a father. When he dies suddenly (playing ping pong) she discovers he’s left her a strange legacy—a series of letters that take her on a mysterious road trip around California. Ignoring her aunt’s suggestion that she pitch the trip as a reality show, she embarks on her own—to discover just what it was that her father meant her to find. What secret could be so powerful that he had to die before telling her?

With a voice reminiscent of Rainbow Rowell, Dutton’s Driftwood is a surprising, poignant, and funny debut. Dutton perfectly captures the mythology of California with this bright and unusual take on the freedom of the open road, the power of music, and what it means, even in the midst of grief, to be a family.

When I saw “road trip around California” in the burb, that’s all I needed. Hey, I’m easy. Plus, I love California. Driftwood turned out to be a really nice, quick read.

Clementine is the 27-year-old daughter of a rock star. She’s isn’t unhappy, but she isn’t exactly happy either. She’s just kind of lost. When her dad suddenly dies, he leaves her letters with instructions for a road trip around California he has planned for her. There is a purpose for every destination. Clem is afraid of what she might discover about her dad, but who could resist something like that?

I really like Clem and her family. Even though her dad dies at the beginning of the book, we get to know him through her memories and the letters he wrote to her. I loved the letters; they were always the funniest and most emotional parts of the story.

Clementine does make some discoveries along the way, both good and heartbreaking. There are secrets that come to light, and some that should always stay buried. It’s an emotional and fun journey that has Clem seeing things a bit differently by the end.

I was born and raised in California, and even though I might complain about certain things sometimes, I love my state. When people from other places think of California, they usually conjure up images of Los Angeles or San Francisco, but there is so much more than that! So I was beyond giddy at the mention of all the places I’m so familiar with! I have my own stories and connection to each place, so it was a lot of fun going on the road trip with Clem and learning what her dad’s connections to some of them were. And I got a kick out of her reactions to some of the places and things she saw.

Driftwood was book that made me laugh, smile, and get a little choked up. I’d gladly go on another road trip with this author.


16 responses to “Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

  1. It had me at road trip really. Does sound fun, even if there are some emotional parts but at least it’s balanced. I love ones that are set where you live/lived, and places you know, makes you like it more. 😉

  2. Why aren’t there more fun road trip books set in Ohio I ask you? RIDDLE ME THAT, CHRISTY! Oh wait. It’s because it’s Ohio 😉 I do love when I read a book and recognize some of the places though, it’s always so much fun. Glad this was a quick, entertaining read for you!

  3. Yes, seeing California and road trip in the blurb made me eager to find out more, too! I also was born and raised in California, and while I sometimes make noises about moving farther North (Portland, Seattle), I somehow keep staying. We do have a lot here….

    And this book is going on my list. Thanks for the great review!

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  4. This sounds really good to me! The idea of the letters, and going on almost a scavenger hunt like trip sounds so different. I may just have to find this one. Great review, and thanks for sharing this 🙂

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