cover image Twice in a Lifetime

Twice in a Lifetime

Dorothy Garlock. Grand Central, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4555-2728-1

Garlock’s terrific story, set in mid-20th-century Missouri, pairs a lonely single mother with a flashy auto racer. Clara Sinclair’s husband died in WWII, and she has no time for dating. Between trying to do right by her rebellious 16-year-old son, caring for her aging mom, keeping her smarmy boss at arm’s length, and nursing an aging pickup truck so it will get her to and from work, she’s got her hands full. Then Drake McCoy zooms into her small town and offers to fix up that rundown truck, with the help of his pit crewman, Amos. As Drake tinkers with the vehicle, his affection for Clara grows, and soon he’s thinking it might be time to quit his wandering ways. Garlock keeps readers so wrapped up in Drake and Clara’s romance that it’s impossible to put the book down. There’s just enough tension, from a few different fronts, to keep things interesting. Thoroughly credible characters and the aw-shucks charm of their small town make this a winner. (July)