India moves back to Colorado Springs to honor the promise she made her father, to care for her mother, Eldora, after his death. Six months later her life has taken some hard turns. Eldora is drinking away her grief; India’s twin sister, Gypsy, a schizophrenic, has gone off of her medication and been missing for two months; and India’s perfect not-too-serious relationship is in serious trouble when she discovers she’s pregnant. India is scared of having a child that could be schizophrenic, is scared of what will happen to her relationship with Jack, and is scared of what is happening to her sister. The last thing India wants to do is join Eldora on a road trip to Las Vegas to search for Gypsy. She has trouble dealing with her mother’s larger-than-life personality, and the forced togetherness of the drive in Eldora’s beloved 1957 Thunderbird could be more than she can take.
Eldora Redding has two things on her mind when she asks India to take her to Las Vegas. The first is the pressing need to find Gypsy, bring her home, and get her back on her medication. The second is the need to tell India the true story of Eldora’s life, the details of which she has never shared with anyone, even her husband.
India’s fears for Gypsy make her agree to the trip, and the two set off on a route they followed on a trip nearly thirty years ago, churning up memories for them both. Along the way, India and Eldora struggle to deal with the past and the future, and their own far from perfect relationship.
LADY LUCK'S MAP OF VEGAS kept me turning pages until the end. I liked how the book alternated the point of view of each chapter between India and Eldora, giving us both sides of their relationship, and the emotions, good and bad, that they generate in one another. This novel makes you wonder just how much you really know about your parents, and whether or not you’re better off without all of the answers. An excellent read, Barbara Samuel was most deserving of the RITA award she won for this novel (2006 Winner for a Novel with Strong Romantic Elements).