Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright

February 29th, 2016 Kimberly Review 63 Comments

29th Feb
Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright
Last Ride to Graceland
by Kim Wright
Genres: Women's Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Lauded for her “astute and engrossing” (People) writing style imbued with “originality galore” (RT Book Reviews), Kim Wright channels the best of Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen in this delightful novel of self-discovery on the open road as one woman sets out for Graceland hoping to answer the question: Is Elvis Presley her father? Blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother’s death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family’s coastal South Carolina home: Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer’s last day on earth. A backup singer for the King, Cory’s mother Honey was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past—and possibly her own identity—Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis’s estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling deep south with its quaint towns and long stretches of open road, the burning question in Cory’s mind—who is my father?—takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her complicated mother, the minister's daughter who spent a lifetime struggling to conceal the consequences of a single year of rebellion.

Chick-lit Family UNIQUE well written

Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright was a delightful story that has us meandering the back roads of the south as Cory Ainsworth retraces her mother’s trip home from Graceland. Road Trip!

Cory Ainsworth knows her mother was a backup singer for Elvis Presley. Her mother was there the day Elvis died, but she quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Cory also knows she could not possibly be her father’s biological daughter. The math just does not add up, although friends and family will tell you Cory was a nine-pound premature baby.

Last Ride to Graceland really takes off when Cory finds Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk bubble wrapped inside her family’s shed. It is like a time capsule with clues from the past. Anxious to know more about her mother and possibly discover whom her Daddy is, thirty-seven year old Cory impulsively jumps in the car and decides to retrace her mother’s trip from Graceland.

Wright delivers the story from Cory’s perspective, but she also takes us back to the summer Cory’s mother Honey spent in Graceland. The journey may have begun as a quest to learn who her father was, but it slowly becomes a journey to understand her mother and herself.

The pace of Last Ride to Graceland was easy-going, as we traveled the back roads and met friends of Cory’s mother. I enjoyed these small-towns and the bits of nostalgia. While fictional, Wright did research Elvis, giving bits of the tale an authentic feel.

I loved the landscape, iconic stops we made and enjoyed getting to know Cory and all of her quirks. The reveal of Cory’s biological father felt genuine and Wright gave us a clear account of Honey’s time in Graceland leaving me satisfied. I closed the book happy and hopeful for Cory.

If you are looking for a relaxing tale with a touch of nostalgia on the road to self-discovery Last Ride to Graceland was a fun, heartfelt tale that will leave you smiling.

Mood Board for Last Ride to Graceland


Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

63 Responses to “Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright”

  1. Mandy

    Beautiful Review!!!! I’ve never heard of this one before. It sounds amazing! I’m going to add it to my TBR because I love the concept. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Lorna

    You are right, this is unique! I will have to put it on my Amazon wish list and wait for the price to come down because it does sound like something I would like. Great review and Mood Board!

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    This sounds like a beautiful journey of self-discovery and I love the nostalgia element. I used to have tons of Elvis records that I’d play on my record player, hook up my microphone and sing my heart out. 😉 Thanks for sharing your Mood board, too. That’s neat!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We watched the movies as kids, because of my Mom, and I had a friend in high school whose brother was obsessed with the King. I wonder if he is in Vegas now impersonating him? LOL

  4. Kay

    I love the mood board! This sound like a really good book! I also love that cover. 😀 I have been to Graceland with my family when I was a teen. It was a lot of fun! I am an Elvis fan.

  5. Freda

    I have a tattoo of Elvis on my arm… yeah, I think I’m a BIG fan…. lol.. off to add this one to my list. Nice mood board btw!

  6. Kathy

    This looks so good, and I definitely want to read it. I’m such a fan of the city of Memphis and have traveled I-40 to and from there many times. I love a good road trip book, too! I’m more of a fan of the icon that is Presley than Presley, himself. Although, I do like the hip shaker, too.

  7. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh nice mood board! 🙂

    I haven’t read a good road trip book in a while, plus this really sounds like there is some beautiful growth to this one. Hm… might be a good contemp for me.

  8. Katherine

    This sounds like a great read! I’m not a big Elvis fan so this one didn’t grab me when I first saw it but the sound of the story itself sounds like something I would love. Plus I will admit I’ve been to Graceland and it’s pretty awesome!

  9. Heidi

    Ahh… I would totally love this one as I always enjoy a good road trip book, and I confess, I had a major crush on Elivs as a teenager.

  10. Tracy Terry

    Anything ‘Elvis’ has me interested and this book sounds no different. Definitely one I’ll be keeping a look out for, thank you.

  11. AngelErin

    Road trip!! I love road trips and books about road trips too. This one looks pretty good. 😀 That cover is gorgeous too, I love the colors. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, it was Elvis towards the end when he was a hot mess, but her journey and the story was an enjoyable one. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon

  12. Angela

    I’m not a big fan of Elvis, but this book does look intriguing. I love when a book includes both stories, so it has that nice rounded feel rather than just being about a character’s journey.

  13. Wattle

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across an Elvis based work of fiction before (well, if we ignore the conspiracy theories!) I really like the sound of this one, glad to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I have never read one of those. This stayed pretty true to what we know even if the part about her mom was completely fictional.

  14. Nick

    Oh I love road trip books, especially ones where you get to see the characters grow as well. And how fascinating that the MC’s mother was Elvis’ backup singer!
    Great review, Kim.