Craig Lancaster first introduced readers to his likeable protagonist, Edward Stanton, in his novel, 600 Hours of Edward. Stanton is a middle-aged man with Asperger’s syndrome, an obsessive-compulsive condition that guides him to live his life according to a rigid schedule.
Daily rituals are at the core of Edward’s existence, and in this sequel, his routines are upended in many ways. He loses his job, his therapist retires, and his best friends move to Idaho. Even his favorite TV show, re-runs of “Dragnet,” is discontinued.
He is truly adrift. When his friends call from Idaho with a problem, he makes the momentous decision to embark on a road trip in his red Cadillac. This adventure takes Edward far from his comfort zone.
He quickly finds more than he bargained for when his friend’s troubled teenage son invites himself along on the ride to a place in Colorado that Edward has been dreaming about of late, where his family used to go when he was a child.
The dialog between the traveling companions ranges from hilarious to deeply revealing, opening avenues of conversation that help and heal. While in Colorado, the two stay at a small motel and thus enters the next significant character in Edward’s drifting life. The proprietress, Sheila Renfro (Edward always calls her by her first and last name), is not put off by Edward’s eccentricities. She has a few of her own.
Sheila’s gentle pursuit of a romantic relationship with Edward is endearing, funny, and often frustrating.
Back home in Billings, life is not the same for Edward, even though he was only away 11 days. Perhaps the road trip helps him realize that “adrift” is not in his comfort zone. The Cadillac is parked in the driveway.
– Judy Shafter