Olly is leaving for another town; her wanderlust has struck again. Something is just not right. She can’t find the place that works for her so she’s hitting the road; she needs to keep looking. She’s been going from town to town for some time now, supporting herself with odd jobs; her dog, Rampart, is her only companion.
In another part of the country, Sam Marconi is leaving Las Vegas with her teenaged daughter, Beth, to seek a new life away from the city muck of Las Vegas. She’s taken all her savings and purchased the Bitteroot Queen, a lovely old hotel in the town of Bitteroot. She’s looking forward to her new life in a small friendly community.
You’ve probably guessed that Olly and Sam are going to meet up, but I won’t spoil it by telling you how.
Jove Belle has peopled her novel with realistic characters who I quickly grew to like. Olly’s sister was a bit of challenge, but I found things to like about her too. Even Olly’s dog, Rampart, is a real character and I found myself wishing I could lay my head in his thick fur.
Most impressive in this book is the relationship between Sam and her daughter. Beth is definitely a teenager, sometimes a real pain and other times endearing. Sam is also a very real mother of a teenager. She doubts herself and often thinks she’s been a bad mother; she regrets how she’s raised Beth in the past, by not always being available. As a single mother she has had to work hard to keep her little family going. The portraits of these two struggling with each other is done sensitively with empathy for both.
Bitteroot Queen is a well-written, well-drawn portrait of a slice of life that shows Sam and Olly as two lesbians comfortable with their identities. If you want a fun, relaxing read pick up Bitteroot Queen. You won’t be disappointed.