Review: Cadillac Couches by Sophie B. Watson
Source: Paperback, Published September 4, 2012 by Brindle and Glass Publishing
Cadillac Couches is a picaresque road trip novel that journeys from prairie to big city and back again. A quixotic tale set in the late ’90s and framed by the popular Edmonton Folk Music Festival, it follows two music-smitten
twentysomething women as they search for love and purpose. Annie Jones is trying to put her big love, Sullivan, behind her, and squash her demons of anxiety and compulsion. In a post-fest funk, she and her more worldly sidekick Isobel jump in Annie’s 1972 Volkswagen Beetle and race across the country to Montreal where her real-life fantasy man, Hawksley Workman, is doing a gig. A year later Annie and Isobel end up back at the folk festival, this time in a much different position—on stage.
A witty first novel, Cadillac Couches is a story about finding one’s holy grail in life. The book comes with its own playlist/soundtrack.
Cadillac Couches is pretty stellar.
You know when you’re reading something so genuinely good, unexpected, so perfect-for-your-now that you feel like you’re going to fly out of your head? I felt that way when I first read Megan McCafferty, Jaclyn Moriarty, Susin Nielsen and Elinor Lipman (among others)….and I felt that way when I was reading Cadillac Couches.
Through the slightly hazy and anxiety-ridden eyes of twenty-something Edmontonian Annie Jones, we’re taken on a whirlwind cross-Canada adventure. An adventure that somehow manages to be a road trip novel; coming-of-age journey; ode to Canadian music festivals; exercise in exorcising past relationships and mistakes; and tribute to friendship- all in one kick-in-the-pants beautiful novel.
I loved Annie’s (and Isobel and Finn’s) story, and I can’t get over the fact that this is Watson’s debut novel. I hope a lot of readers- lovers of contemporary fiction and lovers of Canadian fiction alike get a chance to read this. And for YA readers interested in more sophisticated and realistic coming-of-age books that focus on the oft-forgotten twenty-somethings? This is a great pick. This novel has a blend of Will Ferguson-like love/despair of Canada, with the contemporary zing of writers like Susan Isaacs, M.A.C. Farrant and Susan Juby. But Cadillac Couches is entirely its own being and I highly recommend getting to know it!
Note: This review, written by me, originally appeared on Fabbity Fab Book Reviews. Minor edits may have been made.