Saturday, April 16, 2011

Charlotte Author Amy Clipston Writes "Roadside Assistance" Novel - A Review

Reviewed by Jessica Stafford

Charlotte author Amy Clipston takes a break from her best selling
"Kauffman Amish Bakery" novels to portray adolescent car fanatic Emily
Curtis in her first young adult novel. Emily is having a crisis of
faith and could use a little "roadside assistance" to help her on her
Christian journey. Tackling the issue of losing a parent, Clipston
hopes the book will appeal to teens and adults and leave them with a
sense of hope.

Just when Emily needs her mother the most she dies, leaving Emily and
her dad overwhelmed with medical bills and forced to sell their
business and home. They move in with Aunt Darlene until they can get
back on their feet, though Emily is desperate to move into their own
home so she can disappear from her aunt's "make-over" radar. Emily is
forced to leave her friends and everything she knows for a new town,
deal with the loss of her mother, and what she feels is constant
comparison to her perfect cousin without the help of her confidant…her
mother. Readers will relate to the levels of Emily's grief and follow
her as she comes to understand the dynamics of her new life.

Clipston created a very likable and relatable character in Emily
Curtis. Everyone at some point can relate to the feeling of being out
of place, and Clipston tackles this emotion head on. Her creative use
of letter writing to communicate with Emily's mother helps us to see
the inner thoughts of Emily, and the plot can lead to quality
discussions between adults and their teens about faith and the loss of
a loved one.

"Motivating" is the best word to describe Amy Clipston, both in life
and in her writing. The mom of two not only writes, but works full
time for the City of Charlotte, and has a husband with a pending
kidney transplant. Clipston says it has been a challenge, but her
mother helps with her children and household, and she and her husband
have very supportive employers.

Amy will be signing Roadside Assistance Saturday, April 30 from 4:30 -
7:30 p.m. at the New Creation Christian Bookstore, 11416 E.
Independence Blvd., Matthews. Also, she will be speaking at the Mount
Pleasant Library, 8556 Cook Street, Mount Pleasant, on Tuesday, May 3
from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Roadside Assistance (Zondervan; $9.99; May 2011)