Her Wild Oats

HerWildOatsHer Wild Oats
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Untreed Reads Publishing (June 17, 2014), 244 pages
Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook $5.99

Kathi Kamen Goldmark was a musician, author, author liaison, and radio producer. Kathi lost her battle with cancer a couple of years ago. I knew her as the producer of the radio program West Coast Live. She wrote this book shortly before her death, and her husband helped to complete it after her death.

The novel is about Arizona, or Ari, a high-powered executive assistant in the movie business with a philandering husband. When the philandering becomes too much she hits the road with her faithful GPS. Oats of the title is Otis, a thirteen-year-old harmonica prodigy on tour with a band for reasons too complicated to go into here. For the first third of the book we see their activities separately, until their paths cross at an off-ramp oasis on Interstate 5 in Central California with one of those diner cum gift shop places that are all too familiar on that stretch of highway.

There is plenty of wit, humor, tragedy, and redemption. The climatic moment of the novel provides for more than enough karma and guilt to go around for every character, all of whom are flawed and fully human.

Don’t let the cover of the book fool you. Arizona doesn’t play the guitar, and if she wears jeans it’s only on the last page of the book.

That’s OK – the book is full of real people facing real issues and trying to cope. In my novel meter of “was I sad to leave this world?” there answer for Her Wild Oats is yes.

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