Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 20th February 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us?
All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.
‘A superb writer’ Irish Examiner
When Iris Armstrong goes missing, her best friend Terry, wife, mother and all-round worrier, is convinced something bad has happened.
And when she finds her glamorous, feisty friend, she’s right: Iris is setting out on a journey that she plans to make her last.
The only way for Terry to stop Iris is to join her, on a road trip that will take her, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene onto a ferry, across the Irish sea and into an adventure that will change all of their lives.
Somehow what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.
Terry has been married for years and is a stay – at – home mum to two almost adult daughters. Her husband Brandon provides for the family, working hard, and actually Terry is rather happy with how her life has turned out, even though the girls are flying out of the nest and Brandon’s works is really stressful but well, Terry is his pillar and that’s great.
Her father Eugene is in a nursing home with dementia, where Terry regularly visits him. He used to be a taxi driver and what he can still very well remember are the rules of the road, always reminding his daughter of them. It is at one of the events hosted by the Alzheimer’s society that Terry meets Iris Armstrong and those two women, though totally different, quickly establish a friendship.
Then Iris disappears. Terry unexpectedly discovers why and where she’s heading and decides to follow her. As it’s a real on – a – whim decision, she doesn’t have time to inform her family, and she also has to take her father with her on the impromptu road trip through Ireland, Great Britain, France and Switzerland, as the nursing home has to close temporarily.
It is a journey that is going to change many lives.
The book is brilliantly written, with many feelings and emotions emphasized and is dealing with a difficult and controversial subject in a wonderful, not judging way. You know where it is heading almost right from the beginning, but I think I’m not alone here when I say that I was all the time hoping that I’m wrong, and for it to end differently.
The story focuses on a wonderful friendship between two women, and it is an absolute highlight of the book. They were very lucky to have found each other, as it was a truly unique and special bond between them, and the author has written it in a warm, enveloping way, not being shy of showing not only ups but also downs of such a relationship.
This is a lovely story with many funny and lighter moments but altogether it is also full of sadness and the feeling was a bit too overwhelming for me. I appreciate though how well the author has managed to lighten the mood, and the way she has created the character of Iris, quirky, sassy and full of irony.
So now please do not get me wrong. It was a brilliant, thought – provoking book. It started off so promising and kept me hooked but then, part way through, it started to feel repetitive. I mean, there was no high drama needed, as it was a very character driven novel, but there came a moment that it simply slowed down and I started to feel impatient.
“Rules of the Road” is about finding yourself and there was not better way for Terry to do this – I loved how she was forced to take the plunge, to find a courage, to try things she would never dream of doing. It is a truly special book that will for sure tug at many heart – strings and will make you think. It touches upon some heavier issues and topics that we are very likely to experience by ourselves. It is poignant and wise and beautifully written. It shows that we should celebrate every single day of our lives in a powerful and captivating way. It’s so great to have Ciara Geraghty back!
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