Niagara MotelBook - 2016
Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize finalist
Set in the early 1990s, Ashley Little's follow-up to her award-winning novel Anatomy of a Girl Gang introduces readers to unforgettable eleven-year-old Tucker Malone―the only child of a narcoleptic touring stripper―who believes his father is Sam Malone from Cheers . He and his mother move from motel to motel until, one night in Niagara Falls, his mother is hit by a car after falling asleep in the street.
Tucker is sent to live in a youth group home where he meets Meredith, a pregnant sixteen-year-old with more than her fair share of family problems. They bond over slurpees and a shared love for literature and he convinces her to "borrow" a car to go to Boston to find his father.
Their cross-country search becomes an epic depiction of mid-90s America as Tucker comes face to face with some of the most notorious criminals of the time: The Oklahoma Bomber; Lorena Bobbitt; the boys responsible for the Columbine High School massacrew; O.J. Simpson; and Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.
Told in spare, straightforward prose, Niagara Motel is a biting chronicle during the rise of mass-media in the decade that defined the MTV Generation, and the bittersweet story of a young boy forced to learn brutal lessons on his way to becoming a man.