On and Off the Road: Barbara Henning's THIRTY MILES TO ROSEBUD

Sarah Kosch

I picked up Barbara Henning's Thirty Miles to Rosebud because it was summer and a blurb on the back cover compared it to Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Perfect, I thought. Some adventures with the car window down and the feel of hot wind blowing the driver's hair is just what I want to read on a day like this. And I wasn't disappointed. Henning's independent and insightful protagonist Katie Anderson does indeed travel across the country from New York to Michigan, and from Michigan to Arizona, narrating along the way with a lyrical quality: "When the wind blows, the leaves turn up and back, dark green, light green. When the wind ripples, it looks like little waves across the fields. Cattle here and there and lots of bales of hay strewn over the hills.


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