It is absolutely barmy.
No one seems even the slightest bit perturbed about the reptile in the back of the Buick.
A lifetime of adventures — meeting John Steinbeck, industrial rebellions, joining the coastguard and a hurricane, among others — are condensed into one epic journey.
It’s utterly charming, exploring the ups and downs of love and marriage, and celebrating eccentricity.
Homer Hickam is an awardwinning author, his own memoir Rocket Boys was a New York Times No 1 bestseller.
Hickam’s own life has been as eventful (Vietnam veteran, coalminer, palaeontologist and Nasa engineer) as that of his parents, whose, at times, bitter-sweet story is told so warmly here.