Book Review: A Thousand Miles to Graceland by Kristen Mei Chase

Posted January 27, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 54 Comments

A Thousand Miles to Graceland
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Kristen Mei Chase
Publication Date January 24, 2023
Published by Grand Central Publishing
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Genres: Fiction / Asian American, Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 336
Format: ARC

The journey of a thousand miles begins with sequins and a beehive wig in this sharply funny and achingly tender debut novel about mothers, daughters, and the surprising power of Elvis.

Grace Johnson can’t escape the feeling that her life is on autopilot—until her husband announces he’s done with their marriage. Grace has a choice: wallow in humiliation . . . or reluctantly grant her outlandish mother’s seventieth birthday wish with a road trip Graceland. Buckle up, Elvis. We’re on our way.

Now the two are hightailing it from El Paso to Memphis, leaving a trail of sequins, false eyelashes, and difficult memories in their wake. Between spontaneous roadside stops to psychics, wig mishaps, and familiar passive-aggressive zingers, Grace is starting to better understand her Elvis-obsessed mama and their own fragile connection. She may even have another shot at love. Apparently the King really does work in mysterious ways. But after all these years, will it ever be possible for Grace and her mom to heal the hurts of the past?


A Thousand Miles to Graceland by Kristen Mei Chase is a delightful road trip story about a woman and her eccentric mother.  This mother-daughter bonding trip is heartwarming, emotional, and a lot of fun.  

Story Recap:

Grace Johnson’s husband has left her and she’s feeling lost and doesn’t know what to do next, so when her mother suggests they go on a road trip to Graceland in Memphis, she reluctantly decides to go along.  Grace’s relationship with her outlandish mother hasn’t always been good, and she’s not looking forward to spending so much time together.  But, it’s her mother’s seventieth birthday, and she knows it’s the right thing to do.  

So, Grace and her Elvis-obsessed mama hop in a purple Cadillac and drive from El Paso, Texas to Memphis Tennessee to see the iconic Graceland, the previous home of Elvis Presley.  Along the way, they have a few adventures and learn a lot about themselves and each other. 

My Thoughts: 

I love a good road trip book, and A Thousand Miles to Graceland did not disappoint!  The story is heartwarming, funny, and emotional at times.  Grace and her mother couldn’t be more different on the surface, but as we get to know each of them more, we realize that they are quite similar deep down inside.  

I thought the pacing was very well done.  There were moments of humor to break up the more emotional parts and that made a nice balance.  There is also a bit of light romance, that I also enjoyed.  

If you enjoy heartwarming stories about family dynamics, with a bit of humor and romance, this is the book for you.  


I highly recommend A Thousand Miles to Graceland to anyone who enjoys stories about families.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Kristen Mei Chase

This is the part where I speak about myself in third person, and tell you about all the awesome things I’ve done.

Kristen Chase has been writing frankly about parenting online since 2005, when her blog Motherhood Uncensored gained popularity as one of the few internet voices speaking humorously about the challenges of motherhood and appeared on numerous top blogger lists, including the Babble Top 50 (2009 and 2010) and the Parents Magazine top 10 Power Moms online.

As well as being a frequent guest on various television news shows like NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, HLN, and CNN weighing in on current parenting issues, Kristen was the host of The Kristen Chase Show and Coffee Shop Confessions on the CafeMom Studios YouTube Channel (128,000 subscribers).

She currently co-hosts SPAWNED with Kristen and Liz, an award-winning parenting podcast, where she doles out parenting advice to thousands of listeners on a weekly basis, as well as Out Tech Your Kids, a digital parenting podcast answering tough tech questions in fifteen minutes or less.

As Publisher and CEO of the Cool Mom Picks Network, which includes Cool Mom Tech, Cool Mom Eats, and the two parenting podcasts, she reaches millions of moms every month. Cool Mom Picks was deemed “the online arbiter of

cool for the swingset crowd” by Parents Magazine, lauded by Time Magazine, named one of Real Simple’s three favorite blogs for parents, and listed as one of the top 10 websites for families by the Telegraph UK.

In her fifteen years as a marketing expert, Kristen has created highly successful branded content campaigns, including social media, email and web content, and video for hundreds of clients, including brands like Target, Lysol, Nintendo, Disney and more.

Chase’s writing on parenting culture and sex and relationships has been featured in numerous publications, including The Washington Post,, The Kitchn, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast,, and

Her forthcoming debut novel A Thousand Miles to Graceland, will be published by Grand Central/Forever in early 2023, followed by her debut children’s picture book We Are American, Too in late 2023 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Kristen’s essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Sleep is for the Weak, Kirtsy Takes a Bow, and the political anthology PunditMom’s Mothers of Intention.

In January 2010, she published The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex with Adams Media, a book based on her popular online column “The Mominatrix,” which was lauded by CNN, Parenting Magazine, Parenting & Newborn, Woman’s Day and Daily Candy among others. It was also optioned for television.

But most importantly, Kristen is a single mom to four kids (now 10, 12, 14, and 17), who she shuttles around the suburbs of Philly.

Have you read A Thousand Miles to Graceland?

54 responses to “Book Review: A Thousand Miles to Graceland by Kristen Mei Chase

  1. I wasn’t sure about this book when I originally saw it, but now wish I had requested an ARC. This sounds wonderful. I love road trip books, as well as stories about mothers and daughters, throw in humor and it ticks all the boxes. Wonderful review, Wendy.

  2. I love books about road trips and family dynamics plus I lived in Memphis for awhile so its always fun to read about areas I’m familiar with. I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it! Now I definitely need to add this to my TBR.

  3. I don’t know if I’ve read a road trip book. This sounds fun. I would LOVE to take a road trip to Graceland. I might have to read this and live vicariously.

  4. I’m a big fan of road trip books as well and this one sounds really sweet! I like how Elvis is such a huge part of it – so creative. I’ll have to check this one out in the near future 🙂

  5. This sounds like a fun mother-daughter book. The publication is timely given the recent passing of Lisa Presley. I know it is not about her, but there is that connection.