Bill Warrington, the title character in the book, "Bill Warrington's Last Chance," was a stubborn, rough talking ex-Marine.
After his wife died of cancer, he also was frequently drunk.
His three children are now grown and not speaking to one another and, except for his daughter, not speaking to him.
They are holding a memory they'd rather not think about so they have gone their separate ways.
Now Bill has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and, before he forgets any more, he wants to get all three of his grown offspring together so they can face and share their painful memories - hopefully to forgive and bond with one another again.
It would seem like a hopeless ambition, especially given the short time he has left.
They all seem to have inherited their father's stubborn streak.
But his 14-year-old granddaughter, April, who is fed up with her mother's rules and restrictions, wants desperately to get to California where she intends to be a singer-songwriter of rock music.
Old Bill sees his chance to force his children to get together.
He offers to take April to California in his Chevy Impala - teaching her to drive along the way.
He will only tell them where he's taken her if they all come together.
Along the way, Bill shares his memories with April, interspersed with periods of sleep and-or agitation at his loss of memory.
April learns interstate driving and negotiations with motel and diner staff.
Hair-raising moments of losing one another at road stops, etc., to say nothing of April's mother's panic at losing both her father and her daughter, keep the suspense at a constant level.
When the siblings finally get together, they come to near blows before they form a plan.
Author, James King, has infused pathos and humor into his novel along with a lot of insight into family dynamics and Alzheimer's disease.
He will be the guest author from 5 to 8 p.m. at Otto Boookstore during Downtown's First Friday Festival of the Arts.
He will sign his book, which is now in paperback.
Rider is proprietor of Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St.