Three Tickets to Peoria, The Company of Good Women Vol. II
Lael Littke, Nancy Anderson, Carroll Hofeling Morris
Deseret Book, 2007
This is the second in a series of books told from the points of view of
three LDS women from different parts of the US who met at BYU Education
Week in 1980 and who keep in touch through mail (and later email) and
through occasional reunions.
Their stories continue from the first book, Almost Sisters, which
ended in 1987, and follow their attempts to make lemonade with the
lemons life hands them. One of the great things about these books is
that there are enough different things that can happen to LDS women in
their lives that each of the three experiences very different challenges
and triumphs. In this book, the list of challenges includes a daughter
who has a child out of wedlock, a husband who decides he can't continue
to stay married because he is homosexual, post-partum psychosis, and the
losses of loved ones as time passes and those loved ones age. Some of
the triumphs include success as a writer for one, participation in
search-and-rescue operations for another, and being welcomed into the
family of the father who never married her mother for the third.
The three women also help their mentor, the woman who hosted them for
their first meeting in 1980 and who became their example of what they
decided they wanted to become: "Crusty Old Broads." This woman, whose
wisdom and insight has helped each of them with their struggles, is
able, though the encouragement of her three younger friends, to
reconcile with her own children.
Because all four women support each other through their challenges and
more, the books also explore the strength that comes from sisterhood and
the importance of friendship in the lives of women.
The title refers to the idea that life is like buying a ticket to Hawaii
and ending up in Peoria. They actually do end up in Hawaii at the close
of this book (at the beginning of 1996), and while some things in their
lives have resolved, they also experience other new challenges. The
women, in the course of the book, discover that getting to Peoria isn't
all that bad. There are joys to be had no matter where they go, in
spite of the sorrows.
This book, along with the others in the series, is great for all who
appreciate the love and support that women can give each other.