Charlotte Author Amy Clipston Writes “Roadside Assistance” Novel – A Review

Reviewed by Jessica Stafford

Charlotte author Amy Clipston takes a break from her best selling “Kauffman Amish Bakery” novels to portray adolescent car fanatic Emily Curtis in her first young adult novel. Emily is having a crisis of faith and could use a little “roadside assistance” to help her on her Christian journey. Tackling the issue of losing a parent, Clipston hopes the book will appeal to teens and adults and leave them with a sense of hope.

Just when Emily needs her mother the most she dies, leaving Emily and her dad overwhelmed with medical bills and forced to sell their business and home. They move in with Aunt Darlene until they can get back on their feet, though Emily is desperate to move into their own home so she can disappear from her aunt’s “make-over” radar. Emily is forced to leave her friends and everything she knows for a new town, deal with the loss of her mother, and what she feels is constant comparison to her perfect cousin without the help of her confidant…her mother. Readers will relate to the levels of Emily’s grief and follow her as she comes to understand the dynamics of her new life.

Clipston created a very likable and relatable character in Emily Curtis. Everyone at some point can relate to the feeling of being out of place, and Clipston tackles this emotion head on. Her creative use of letter writing to communicate with Emily’s mother helps us to see the inner thoughts of Emily, and the plot can lead to quality discussions between adults and their teens about faith and the loss of a loved one.

“Motivating” is the best word to describe Amy Clipston, both in life and in her writing. The mom of two not only writes, but works full time for the City of Charlotte, and has a husband with a pending kidney transplant. Clipston says it has been a challenge, but her mother helps with her children and household, and she and her husband have very supportive employers.

Amy will be signing Roadside Assistance Saturday, April 30 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the New Creation Christian Bookstore, 11416 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews. Also, she will be speaking at the Mount Pleasant Library, 8556 Cook Street, Mount Pleasant, on Tuesday, May 3 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Roadside Assistance (Zondervan; $9.99; May 2011)