The Motel of the Stars.
Ten years is a long time to wait for anything. For Jason Sanderson and Lory Llewellyn, it's how long they've each been searching for relief from the emotional paralysis of mourning the same man, Sam Sanderson, Jason's son and Lory's lover. For the rest of the world, or at least those fervent New Agers caught up in the hype and glory of the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the tenth anniversary spells a chance to gather at Grandfather Mountain, a vortex where, if anywhere, there's a possibility to revisit the spiritual revelry promised by the rare strategic alignment of the planets. A troubled young man, Sam was once a seeker of such mystical wisdom, and his unexplained death a decade ago motivates both his father and former lover to undertake a coincidental journey, looking for an answer to the one question anyone who has ever lost a loved one asks: why? Melancholy yet expectant, McElmurray's is a keenly sorrowful but plaintively lyrical examination of anguish and longing. --Booklist
The Motel of the Stars is a meditation on redemption through love and religion. This second novel Karen Salyer McElmurray does not shy away from the hard questions. Her characters journey through sacred territory. Each setting is drawn in rich detail, and it is a tribute to her skill that we are notjarred or confused by the juxtaposition of Appalachian wilderness, the streets of New Delhi, and the high plains of the Himalayas. She provides an almost giddy sense of bridging large distances, of pondering a globe spinning and rife with chasms.
McElmurray's evocative second novel journeys into the New Age subculture, beginning with Kentucky repo man Jason Sanderson, still grieving for Sam, the son he lost 10 years ago. Desperate, Sanderson leaves his concerned wife to find his son's former lover, Lory Llewellyn, who he believes can help him understand his loss. His search is short--serendipitously, Lory shows up at a repo job--and it's her globe-trotting account of discovery with Sam that provides most of the narrative. McElmurray traces Lory's life from troubled girlhood to courtship to treks across Asia and the American Southwest seeking enlightenment; readers will soon suspect that Sam is looking not for answers, but for a way to avoid them. Sanderson himself tells a story filled with questions, passion and despair, and as the intertwining flashbacks roll out, the two characters move ever closer to the 26,000-year cycle-ending Harmonic Convergence of December 24, 2012--after which, Mayan prophesy suggests, the world will be changed unalterably.
--Publisher's Weekly Review