Delightful. That’s the best word I can think of to describe this novel by Homer Hickam. Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator is about, well, exactly what the title says its about except that a rooster is involved too. During the Great Depression, a coal miner named Homer and his wife Elsie undertake a journey to bring her pet alligator, Albert, from their coal mining town in West Virginia to a more suitable environment in Orlando, Florida. During their long drive, Homer and Elsie have a bunch of interesting adventures and it is as much a tale of love as it is about the transportation of Albert. Although this book is fiction, it is actually about the author’s parents and the tales they told him throughout his life about adventures they had while bringing Albert to Florida. How much is true, we really don’t know, but the story is simply delightful.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s one I never would have discovered or read if it wasn’t my book club’s pick. Hickam’s writing is terrific and I’m looking forward to reading some of his other books, especially his memoir Rocket Boys. Happy reading!