Saturday, 29 March 2014

Road Ends by Mary Lawson

Road EndsRoad Ends tells us the story of the Cartwright family during the 1960s in the small town of Struan, Canada. It is narrated by three of the characters, Tom, Megan and Edward.

 

Tom, an aeronautical engineer, is the eldest of eight; he has returned home following the suicide of a friend and has got himself a job driving a snow plough. Meg is the only daughter and the one member of the family who manages to keep everything together and ticking over while her mother seemingly has baby after baby. She has managed to escape to England and is trying to make a life for herself in London. Their father, Edward, works in the bank and when not there spends most of his time hiding away from all the chaos in his study at home. He looks back through his mother's old diary and is reminded of a difficult childhood and of his violent father. Edward's wife has just had another son, Dominic, despite being told by the doctor that she mustn't have another baby because it wouldn't be good for her health. She is devoting all of her time to the new infant and seems very vague, even more so than normal.

 

I absolutely loved this book, it's so beautifully well written and Mary Lawson is a wonderful storyteller. I found it a joy to read, I never lost interest and the story never dragged at any point. It's amusing at times but mostly very moving, there was a paragraph on the bottom of page 147 of my edition which I found particularly heartbreaking. In fact I had to pause for a while to take stock before continuing. 


This is the author's third novel and my only complaint is that she isn't more prolific. There's an eight year gap between this and her previous book, I just hope the wait isn't as long until her fourth.

 

Rating: 5 out of 5

 


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