I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The story was a bit slow at the beginning, making me wonder if I would find enjoyment in it, but as it started to unfolded I found myself unable to put it down. Once it drew me in, it completely engrossed me, keeping me up until the wee-hours of the morning in hopes of learning all the mysteries surrounding these unique characters.
“The Never-Open Desert Diner” opens with Ben Jones, a truck driver who delivers supplies to the forgotten souls of a deserted desert highway in Utah. Ben, the only man who dares to deliver to this part of forgotten America, drives this lone stretch of highway consisting of many different residents who have chosen to leave society for one reason or another. The reasons of why they left are a mystery, no one being brave enough to ask any questions. One day, while running his usual route, he meets Claire, a woman with a gun. He learns Claire is on the run after a heated divorce from her husband. The two quickly become entangled in a once in a lifetime love affair. When strange characters from Claire’s past start poking around the lone desert highway, Ben begins to wonder if Claire has been completely honest with him. Who is Claire? Why is her husband looking for her? How did she come to learn of the desert highway most have forgotten?
“The Never-Open Desert Diner” is a story of love, loss, and friendship; one that left me reflecting on the narrative and characters long after the final page. I found this story to be very unique in the setting, plot, and characters; making it both unpredictable and engaging. The character development and story-mapping were excellent, allowing the mystery to climatically unfold. If asked to compare this author to any I’ve read, I would say James Anderson’s refined style is similar to a John Irving. I would highly recommend “The Never-Open Desert Diner” to anyone who likes a great mystery intertwined with a love story. This debut novel by James Anderson has certainly found me as a new fan.
Please Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book directly from the publisher, you can do so by visiting PenguinRandomHouse.