The premise of this novel is preposterous. Two strangers meet on a used car lot in Pinto Canyon, Texas, as they are both consider the purchase of a Buick Electra and within a few minutes have made the decision to jointly purchase the vehicle. However, this interaction takes place well into the first part of the book so there is a lot of story before this happens and by the time the decision to purchase is made, I found myself liking both buyers, Marcus and Maria, and really liking the book. And I bought the premise and wanted to read more.
Maria left Pinto Canyon after disappointing herself, her parents, her boyfriend, and his family when she was a teenager. She has not been back for 10 years. Marcus has made some poor financial decisions and is on the move from the east coast to Mexico, where he hopes to hide out and figure out his life. The story follows the two as they both face their past mistakes and consider the future.
At one point Maria thinks of Marcus “he was passing through, slower than a train, faster than a drought”. Neither of them is in a hurry to make a decision, and that makes the story even better.
Every once in a while the author inserts a chapter detailing the path that the car has taken from its first owner to the present day.
There are lots of lists and charts and there is humor as well as lots of sadness in this story. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.