FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer

Need More Road

By Stephen Jared


Reviewed by Angie Mangino

Rating: 5 stars

Eddie Howard has lived in same house in the town of Barstow in the Mojave Desert since his birth for nearly fifty years. In 1939 he started his job at the Security Pacific Bank where he now was an assistant manager. Though bored with his job, change was not something Eddie did.


Another more pleasurable routine, escaping through movies,broke the boring routine that was his life.  With only one movie house in town, he would watch the same movie two, or even three times.


“The day had been long and tiring, but Eddie’s energies improved once he showered and threw on a short-sleeve button down shirt. He marched to The Barstow, thinking about how much he loved movies. They were everything to him. They expanded his mind, his vision, put a beat in his heart. What would he ever do without them?”


Readers learn the time setting as the mid-fifties when the movie showing is Written on the Wind, later replaced by A Kiss Before Dying.


One Friday at the bank a change broke its way into Eddie’s life.


“Time seemed to stop, however, when shortly before closing, a woman, clearly from somewhere else, stepped inside…She looked like a movie star. She looked like Marilyn Monroe.”


Listening as she spoke with the manager, Eddie learns she is from Los Angeles and wants to find a home to buy for her father.


That night, as he sat in The Barstow “…he was heavy-hearted, trapped in a cloud of loneliness thanks to a beautiful woman’s three minutes inside the Security Pacific.”


When Mary Rose introduces herself to Eddie at the bank the next day, the man who avoided changes was beginning to want to change, with no inkling at the time of how radical that change would be.


Readers will enjoy the journey in this compelling nostalgic story that rivals Hollywood’s cinemas in its audience satisfaction and involvement in the life of the protagonist.