Loya’s focus is on the relationships he uncovered on the journey, both between him and his father and with others they met, but he still includes a helpful appendix with information about cycling gear, Alzheimer’s and the technical aspects of the trip. The photos and anecdotes provide an encouraging snapshot of an America where people cheer on Kari and Merv and their feat. Kari’s stamina is remarkable as he took these photographs, recalled these conversations, navigated himself and his father and traveled the continent. As a recollection of the journey which brings the reader along, Conversations Across America succeeds admirably.
The most moving conversations, though, come between father and son. From difficult nights spent in the cold to healing discussions of Merv’s health and his future, the emotional heart of the book is deeply moving. Travel readers may wish for even more descriptions of the vistas, challenges, and memorable moments of the trip itself. The journey proved healing for both men, and readers of travel and family memoirs will grow invested in their adventures and relationship.
Takeaway: A travelog of American characters, an epic cycling journey, and a touching father/son relationship.
Great for fans of: Robert Cocuzzo’s The Road to San Donato: Fathers, Sons, and Cycling Across Italy, Jedidiah Jenkins’s To Shake the Sleeping Self.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A