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Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 X 0.64 (inches)|
Elvis Takes a Back Seatby award-winning novelist Leanna Ellis is the endearing story of Claudia, a young widow determined to fulfill her husband’s last request by hauling a three-foot bust of Elvis Presley in the backseat of a vintage Cadillac from Dallas to Memphis to return it to its rightful owner. The road trip—taken with an eccentric aunt who actually knew the “King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” and a temperamental teen with a suspicious mind of her own—hits some royal roadblocks and detours as these women uncover pieces of their past along with the bust’s mysterious history. What they find along the way changes their lives forever, inspiring readers to also step out in faith.
Brilliant! Charming! I absolutely adored it! With memorable characters, Elvis Takes a Back Seat is an emotional journey well worth taking. I laughed, I cried, I sighed in contentment. Leanna Ellis is a gifted writer and a must-read. - Lorraine Heath
"Leanna Ellis takes a back seat to no one, so put on your blue suede shoes and come along for a most entertaining ride to Memphis—and to the healing place closest to the heart." Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 bestselling author
I liked this book because the story is told in such polished style that readers will want to be in the back seat of that Rock 'n Roll red Cadillac, with the top down, cruising the road to Memphis. The plot twists aren't overly complicated, nor are they over-simplified. Ellis has managed to keep that element of "this story really could go either way here." Even the chapter titles have something to offer.
Have you been spending a bit too much time listening to children's programming during the week? Are there over-the-top happy tunes repeating in your head? Well, Elvis Takes a Back Seat is more down-to-earth and you'll find yourself remembering the songs from which the chapter titles were taken. By the end of it, you'll be calm and happy, humming them instead of the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Club. But, reader beware. The book has a dangerous side. It fosters procrastination.
I put off doing the dishes on Tuesday, for what was supposed to be a few minutes. Two hours later, when it was time to start lunch, I made myself put the book down and go wash them. I managed to get the laundry in the washer on Wednesday, then sat down to read until it was time to put the clothes in the dryer. You have to remember to actually turn the washer on in order to get them clean. Did I do it on purpose? We'll never know. And grocery shopping? Oh, please. I found myself rushing through the more domestic tasks so I could get back to the book. I even found myself carrying it along as I hurried out the door for appointments. Stop lights are never long enough, and why can't we have traffic jams in rural America? I'm giving the book five stars because it earned it. It got my attention from the beginning. It kept me wanting to find out more in every chapter. It isn't preachy, or whiney, nor repetitive. I did figure out the ending a bit sooner than it was revealed, but that didn't take away from what came next, because even toward the end the author had a surprise or two up her sleeve. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is a warm and encouraging story about three generations of women who take a trip, not just to Memphis, but more importantly an inner journey into their own lives, their expectations, and their fears . . . and Elvis got to go along for the ride. This book is just simply a great trip all by itself. - Susan Cronk, Show-Me Reviews
Miranda5 Stars Out Of 5An Excellent ReadFebruary 22, 2016MirandaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I am so glad I read this book. I loved it, I enjoyed the characters and their struggles, and I learned along the way with them. This story centers around returning a bust of Elvis to Memphis and what they learn about God and each other along the way. I fell in love with Rae, she's my sort of gal, I enjoyed very much her centeredness and contentment, I'd like her for a friend. This is a story of healing and letting go, I cried while reading this a few times, imagining how I'd feel if it were my husband that had died. Claudia had been mourning the death of her husband for a long time and it was time for her to live again and find her smile. I am so thankful that I discovered this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Stephanie4 Stars Out Of 5May 13, 2009StephanieI am not an Elvis fan, but I have to say I really enjoyed this book. The premise of three women traveling to find the owner of a kitschy Elvis bust in a vintage Cadillac is deliciously unique, and the internal conflicts and relationships between characters keep the book from being a too-fluffy read. The buildup is slow, and some of the plot points, such as the ghost of Elvis thing, seem at once unbelievable and cliched. But that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey to Memphis, and will definitely be looking for more of Leanne's work.
Rhonda Comley5 Stars Out Of 5July 3, 2008Rhonda ComleyI thought this was a great book with strong characters. To me though I thought the situations were predictable. I could guess what the outcomes would be. It was still a good read and went quickly. I am a Elvis fan so that helped!
andi5 Stars Out Of 5May 20, 2008andiThe cover description does not let you in on the whole story. It was 300+ pages of therapy, disguised as a road trip with Elvis. This book was more than an entertaining read it was a chance to "Surrender" to the plans of God. Definitely not fluff...a great read!
Michelle SuttonArizonaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5April 17, 2008Michelle SuttonArizonaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleThere are so many books out there and so little time to read them all. This is one story I recommend you take the time to enjoy. While there is nothing fluffy about this book, it does have it's humorous moments. There are also some very deep moments and emotional ties that develop between these friends when secrets come out that challenge their beliefs. I found some of the struggles they dealt with to be very true-to-life. And when it comes to grief and loss, I dare say I don't think I've read anything more real and honest than Claudia's perspective. I've read a lot of stories where people were angry with God for losing a loved one, but Leanna Ellis makes this one feel...real. It's hard to explain, but if you know someone who is angry and feels far away from God because they can't seem to let go, this would be a great book to give them to help them work through that. But this story is more than just a glance into someone's pain, it's a compelling tale of three women who all have serious issues to deal with. The dialog is natural and feels so real. The way the author brings these issues to the forefront through the story is incredibly well-done. You can actually learn something about your own heart and your own relationship with God from reading this book. That's a skill few authors have, and that's what makes it fabulous Christian fiction in my book. I highly recommend it.
Author: Leanna Ellis
Located in: Keller, TX
Submitted: December 04, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a wife, mom, home schooler, chauffeur to all kid activities, cheerleader for all events, lousy cook and writer.
What was your motivation behind this project? I was having a garage sale and thought about how hard it is for many people to get rid of belongings. Elvis Takes a Back Seat begins with a garage sale. Getting rid of the Elvis bust is harder than she ever imagined.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I want this book to touch readers' hearts and help them to move on with their lives if they are grieving or stuck in one place and fear moving on. I hope readers will be encouraged in their faith.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I realized that idols come in many shapes and sizes. Most are not shaped like an Elvis bust and sit on a pedestal. But sometimes memories can become idols: it was better back then! Or dreams can become idols: someday...! My writing started out as an idol when I began 15 years ago. I had to learn to lay that idol down and give it to God.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I have many many favorite authors. I'm afraid I might forget one if I list a bunch here. But I will say that Beth Moore's studies and John Eldredge's books have influenced my writing.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: God is good. Always.