The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane was just perfection.
From the moment I picked up this novel, I was entranced. It was heartfelt, it was meaningful, and the characters were ones that you root for.
The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Maybelle. Maybelle and her mother are living in a run-down trailer. Life has had its challenges for them lately. Maybelle's mother is working two jobs and doing everything she can to keep them afloat, and Maybelle is spending her summers alone.
Things are looking up for the mother-daughter duo when Maybelle's mother is offered an entertainer job on a cruise ship. It is for 30 days, and it will pay more than Maybelle's mom can make in months. She has to take the job. But, that means she has to leave Maybelle behind with her neighbor, Mrs. Boggs.
It is during a deep discussion in the car when things start to change for Maybelle. Randomly, her mother decides to turn on the radio, and Maybelle immediately recognizes the voice she hers. She knows that voice belongs to the father she has never met.
His voice is imprinted on her heart after finding a lost voicemail on her mother's phone. Maybelle's mother confirms the voice is her dad but warns Maybelle that their lives are forever better off without him in it.
Maybelle cannot get that voice out of her head. She has to hear it again. Maybelle ends up pulling her little savings together to buy an old radio. She sneaks time listening to the radio whenever she is alone. Her connection to the man behind the voice consumes her, and Maybelle decides she must meet her father. She must know the real man behind the voice.
Maybelle knows her chance when she hears it. Her father is going to be a judge in a singing competition in Nashville. If Maybelle can get there to sing, she knows her father will know who she is and want to be part of her plan. Her only chance to go is when her mom goes away for her job on her cruise ship. Mrs. Boggs agrees to take her to Nashville.
The two head off on their cross country drive to Nashville. It doesn't take long for them to discover that the trip the two of them were taking was a trip for three. Tommy, Maybelle’s bully, has snuck along for the trip. Maybelle is devastated to see him with them.
But none-the-less, the three continue on their drive to Nashville and into an adventure like none of them could ever expect.