I adore Audrey Couloumbis's writing. From her touching GETTING NEAR TO BABY to her hilarious western romps that tell of the MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH, she proves that she can tell a whomping good story. In LOVE ME TENDER, her 13 year old protagonist, Elvira, is not a happy camper. Her younger sister, Kerri, is a pain in the butt. Her father has left to attend an Elvis impersonator competition in Vegas (after a HUGE fight with her mother) and, did we neglect to mention that her mother is pregnant? Could it get any worse?
Elvira and her mother and sister are soon off on a road trip to Grandma's house. Elvira's mother has had a rocky relationship with her own mother as it turns out. However, watching her mother and grandmother negotiate a new and a bit prickly relationship sparks something inside Elvira. Maybe this road trip was something that had to happen. The characters are nicely drawn; the dialogue snappy and sharp tongued. THIS is a family story about real family members. You can't pick your family members, but you can decide how to live with and among them. Important lessons for us all, folks.