The Cadillac Kind

by Maureen Foss,
184 pages,
ISBN: 1896095100

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First Novels - This Month, a Brood of Ten
by Eva Tihanyi

Maureen Foss's The Cadillac Kind (Polestar, 182 pages, $16.95 paper) also focuses on the mother-daughter relationship, but what Foss has created is a truly hilarious road adventure. Edith, forty-two, has (much to her mother's chagrin) never married and spends her days writing ads for Sears catalogues and listening to Willie Nelson songs. Aside from her interest in the cow sculptures of Joe Fafard, she is uptight, scared of life, and downright dull. Her mother Dixie, on the other hand, is a feisty, sixty-something risk-taker, who, in spirit at least, seems much younger than her daughter. She's into gin-and-tonics, dancing, swearing, and general good times.

The basic premise is simple: Edith and Dixie drive from Vancouver to Coolish, Manitoba, where Dixie's sister is about to celebrate her sixty-fifth birthday. The journey soon turns into an uproarious female road trip from hell. (There's even a hostage-taking episode in a strip joint.) The supporting cast is equally funny and includes Walter Muckle, a motor-home-driving cheese salesman; his sons Maurice, a cross-dresser, and Vonnie, whose partner in the world's smallest Mercedes dealership is a goat; and a pony-tailed folk-singer with the memorable stage name of Dink Meister.

Underlying all the hilarity is the affection that eventually emerges between mother and daughter, and the self-discovery each enjoys along the way.


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