“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” ~Albert Einstein
The Key to Everything, a novel by Valerie Fraser Luesse, tells the tale of 15-year-old Peyton Cabot. The only child of well-to-do parents, Peyton must watch helpless as his tender-hearted father, broken by the battlefield, drowns his demons in a bottle of bourbon.
In the spring of 1947, less than two years after the war, calamity calls on the Cabot clan. In the wake of tragedy, Peyton seeks to understand his father by embarking on the same bicycle trip his dad had taken as a teenager, leaving the comforts of his Georgian home for the southernmost point of the continental United States.
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, …when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” ~Arthur Conan Doyle
With his mother’s support and a well-researched plan, Peyton hops on his bike, leaves heartache behind, and heads toward healing. Pedal by pedal and mile by mile, Peyton finds forgiveness for his father while finding himself.
“What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and…in the son the unveiled secret of the father.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Sorrowful yet sublime, The Key to Everything takes us along on Peyton’s journey. From Savannah to Key West, the characters we encounter feel like friends; we cry their tears and share their cheers. A nostalgic, coming-of-age story, The Key to Everything will leave you longing for a time when things were simpler, time moved slower, and life was sweeter. Enjoy the ride!
“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them… The moments that used to define them are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and…their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers…” ~Paul Coelho