Doig’s last novel is a journey through the American west and midwest of 1951, as seen through the experiences of an eleven-year old boy named Donal. An orphan, Donal is being raised by his grandmother on a ranch in Montana. When she needs surgery and cannot care for him, she puts Donal on a Greyhound bus to stay with his aunt and uncle in Wisconsin.
Donal’s trip from Montana to Wisconsin is a long one, and he must make his way alone. Along the way he meets a wonderfully colorful cast of characters whom he will never forget.
When he arrives at his destination, he discovers that his aunt is a tyrant and his uncle, a mild mannered and amiable German, lives unhappily under her thumb.
Donal and his uncle form a bond of friendship, and escape together on another Greyhound bus. Their adventures and misadventures are funny and at times heart-wrenching.
Last Bus to Wisdom reveals a time in America when orphans had much to fear, and German immigrants still felt the effects of World War II. It is quietly funny, poignant, and well worth reading.