Peyton Cabot’s fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from WWII a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents’ devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams, Lisa Wallace.
Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle all the way to Key West, Florida. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton’s journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined–namely, the key to his unknowable father, a reunion with Lisa, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.
Through poignant prose and characters so real you’ll be sure you know them, Valerie Fraser Luesse transports you to the storied Atlantic coast for a unique coming-of-age story you won’t soon forget.
The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse is my first novel that I read from her. Her book brings the Southern way of life alive on these pages. A family so filled with loves starts to unravel a bit. A young man is raised well by his family. With family who love him, the young man finally seeks his own adventure. It is on this adventure he finds, more than he expected. Peyton Cabot finds a girl he loves, an adventure of a lifetime, and he matures as a man. The whole book was sweet from beginning to end. I enjoyed Peyton. He was kind despite being a teenager and being away from home. He shows love and kindness to everyone he meets. His character is unique. The novel was deep and heartfelt. Overall, the characters in this book were mesmerizing.