A Thousand Miles to Graceland
by Kristen Mei Chase
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Pub Date 24 Jan 2023 | Archive Date Not set
The journey of a thousand miles begins with sequins and a beehive wig in this sharply funny and achingly tender debut novel about mothers, daughters, and the surprising power of Elvis.
Grace Johnson can’t escape the feeling that her life is on autopilot—until her husband announces he’s done with their marriage. Grace has a choice: wallow in humiliation . . . or reluctantly grant her outlandish mother’s seventieth birthday wish with a road trip Graceland. Buckle up, Elvis. We’re on our way.
Now the two are hightailing it from El Paso to Memphis, leaving a trail of sequins, false eyelashes, and difficult memories in their wake. Between spontaneous roadside stops to psychics, wig mishaps, and familiar passive-aggressive zingers, Grace is starting to better understand her Elvis-obsessed mama and their own fragile connection. She may even have another shot at love. Apparently the King really does work in mysterious ways. But after all these years, will it ever be possible for Grace and her mom to heal the hurts of the past?
CONTENT GUIDANCE: cancer diagnosis/no death, abusive father (told in flashbacks)
A Note From the Publisher
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Available on NetGalley
A Thousand Miles to Graceland by Kristen Mei Chase is a wonderful contemporary fiction that highlights the importance of friends, family, and one’s own happiness in life.
I really enjoyed this contemporary/women’s fiction that focuses on the internal and external struggles of Grace Johnson. The relationship between Grace and her Momma. The road trip was therapeutic in more ways than one. What started as a fun trip to Graceland, turned into so much more.
I enjoyed the balance of fun and light-hearted material in the narrative with the more serious subject matter. The process of working through her own concerns, questions, and place and purpose in life, and the answers that she finds during this road trip was refreshing and warming.
I am looking forward to more from this author in the future.
Thank you NG and Forever ( Grand Central Publishing) for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/24/23.
I enjoyed reading about this mother-daughter duo on their road trip. It was nice to see their relationship grow during the quest to get to Graceland. I also enjoyed that the book wasn't just about the two of them - they built other relationships along the way with old friends and brand new strangers who turned into friends. It was a fun read, and I recommend it!
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC prior to its release.
Wow, I knew this was going to be one that hit home, but it was even more than I expected! As a biracial Asian American with parental issues, it was like I could feel everything Grace dealt with. It was crazy seeing my type of experiences fleshed out, especially growing up a minority in Texas! Kristen allows us to step into our MC shoes and feel her guilt of leaving her mother behind, but then also of leaving her husband behind as she realizes she needs more. We realize that love doesn’t always grow just from safety and convenience. We also find out how a mother and daughter can take their shared traumatic past and begin anew after forgiveness and acceptance.
Of course, on top of all that goodness, there is also Elvis, and who can pass that up?
Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review!
TW: alcoholism, abuse, infidelity, anxiety, cancer
I really had no idea what to expect when i chose this read now book. I am glad I got it though.
I wouldn't call it a fun read but a learning read. I say this because it's about having to learn how to adapt to life's challenges and except each other for whom the other person is/was.
I enjoyed this book a lot! I couldn't put it down. Just some fantabulous writing going on with story for sure and certain.
Honestly this book had me snickering, crying and wanting to hug Grace for her bravery throughout this book.
Y'all sometimes you'll feel like shouting at Grace's mother until you know the real reason why. Then you'll want to cry..
These two ladies are in for a ride of their lifetime and I loved taking it with them. They certainly met some interesting people along the way.
Grace's mom sounds a lot like me though. Too stubborn and hard headed about getting her own way especially when you're on a mission.
This is in my opinion one of the best reads or will be in 2022/2023. I simply loved it and I highly recommend it!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
This book was phenomenal. As an elvis fan myself i appreciate a mother and daughter bonding and getting along because of him. And honestly its became one of my favorite books.
Warm-hearted, feel good read about a 70 year old woman, who is a huge Elvis fan, and her estranged daughter who go on a roadtrip to visit Elvis’s home, Graceland. Both characters were very likeable and the story of their relationship and how it evolves over the course of the trip is very engaging. It was funny, sad, and relatable.
The story is written in a very easy to read style. There are serious topics touched upon but it never feels too heavy as there are also light-hearted moments and funny situations. I loved the author’s message of hope, it’s never too late and don’t wait. A very enjoyable read.
Thanks to Forever Publishing and Netgalley for an advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.
A Thousand Miles to Graceland is one of those books you want to share with your mother or mother figure. It's a story about bridging the distance, confronting the things we've never said, and realizing that time always seems to be slipping away. Grace has a complex relationship with her mother, but a road trip to Graceland is the furthest thing she'd ever want to do. Until she finds out she's being divorced and suddenly just wants to get away.
But what starts out as an escape turns out to show Grace that the past never stays in the past. That the things we've never said always have a way of coming out in the end. And that these conversations, even though they're hard and painful and scary, end up being the most worthwhile.
An endearing and sweet novel, this is Kristen’s debut novel, and I absolutely loved it. The novel is a mother-daughter story about a road trip to Graceland to pay homage to Elvis Presley. We meet the main character, Grace, who is a busy professional who has received devastating news that her now-ex husband, Jeff, is in love and wants to move on. She chooses to take a trip with her mother, Loralynn, in a way, to heal and get away from her circumstances. During the journey, she meets Wyatt while keeping in touch with Asha, her best friend.
This one hit home for me was I lost my mom to cancer, and their journey to Graceland became a trip to heal together. The scenes of the hospital reminded me of the uncomfortable trips we took to get my mom treatment. But, also, I remembered unlike the character, Jeff, Mike and my mom created a bond together. They also shared moments of love and warmth.
I also love that books like Kristen don’t have to be about “love” in the sense of how we recognize it popularly but it can be love for one’s self, for our parents, and loved ones. Undoubtedly, Kristen craftily constructs the narrative bringing the readers into the world she creates. Also, by the end of it, I won’t lie that her beautiful and poignant story did make me emotional . My mom and I did take road trips together. When I was going for my doctoral studies to Canada, we shared driving together and switched every 2 hours. It was our road trip together. The photos that you see are from the trip if you scroll to see the other photos!
A Thousand Miles to Graceland is one of the years best novels hands down and a beautiful debut novel by Kristen Mei Chase. Ms. Chase took me on a few adventures, that of her characters Loralynn and Grace, one of my self awareness and growth, one of the relationship I have with my mother, one of the relationship I want with my mother and an ideal partner relationship. Ok, and maybe a bit of a journey into the past relationships I've had too. This novel is so incredibly compelling and heart warming and heart breaking and brilliant and beautiful and left me in tears more times than I care to admit, both tears of joy and sadness.
Join Grace while she takes her mom Loralynn on a journey from Texas to Memphis, Tennessee to visit Graceland and all things Elvis for Loralynn's 70th birthday! Along the way Grace and Loralynn explore their tumultuous past and build a beautiful present and future all around 'the King.' Grace learns about her mom's Elvis obsession, connects with old friends and meets new one's along the way. Grace also learns who her mom is good, bad and ugly; She also learns all the beautiful things that is Loralynn.
You will regret NOTHING about reading this novel this year other than not picking it up sooner.
Okay, I had an inkling that I was going to like this book just based on the cover alone, but you guys! This book was so cute. It follows Grace and her mom Loralynn as they take on a road trip to Graceland, Memphis. Along the stops not only do they learn more about Elvis and Loralynn’s love of The King, but they also learn more about each other and what it looks like to repair a mother-daughter relationship.
When I say that this book gave me so much hope and happiness, I mean it. I loved how the author really devoted time to digging through Grace’s life and the reasons why she had such a difficult time being around and with her mom. There are discussions on domestic abuse, emotional abuse, and child abuse so make sure to be careful heading into this one. The cute cartoon cover really hides some deeper discussions in this book. There are also discussions about cancer so maybe head to the trigger warnings on this one just in case.
I loved the quirky side characters that all came to play in this book but Loralynn and Grace really were the stars of this book. I thought each pit stop (if you will) was so fun and seemingly random, I couldn’t help but feel like I was there on the adventure with them!
Overall, this was a sweet book about a mother and daughter who are working to repair their relationship before it's too late, with some fun Elvis-themed things along the way. I highly recommend you check this one out!
⚠️TW: medical content, alcoholism, cancer, domestic abuse, child death, death of parent, panic attacks/disorders, emotional abuse, child abuse
Thank you @readforeverpub and @netgalley for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review! All of the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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