After the death of her mother, Kay Seger abandons her career as a historical consultant to a Los Angeles film company and returns to her childhood home in Michigan. There, she rekindles a teenage love affair with Joe Chase, now a Vietnam War veteran and Ford auto worker. Afflicted by grief and the mysterious symptoms of an unidentified ailment, Kay, at Joe's urging, begins an investigation of her family's past.
As Kay pores over the boxes of papers, letters, and photo albums her mother left behind, vivid recollections of a bygone Detroit, ragged and teeming at the start of the automotive age, come to life alongside snapshots of Michigan's rural western counties after the settlement of the frontier. In the midst of her searches, Kay comes across the long-forgotten medical history of nostalgia, and it is this new knowledge that helps her to recover the lost histories of her family and find a resolution to her troubled relationship with Joe.
An exploration of memory as both pathology and promise, Ford Road offers a moving examination of the injuries we inflict on the people closest to us, the worldly injuries that are often beyond our control, and our astonishing ability to act upon and inhabit our own stories. It is also a meditation on American car culture, the road, and the role of early Hollywood in the creation of America's vision of itself. Written in spare, evocative prose, historian Amy Kenyon's first novel is as heartbreaking as it is thought-provoking.