Review: The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary


Title: The Road Trip

Author: Beth O’Leary

Published: 29th April 2021, Quercus

Status: Read April 2021 courtesy Hachette Australia

++++++

 

My Thoughts:

The Road Trip is Beth O’Leary’s third entertaining romcom novel, following her success with The Flatshare and The Switch.

Addie, her sister Deb and rideshare passenger, Rodney, have just begun the eight hour drive from Chichester to Scotland to attend a close friend’s wedding when they are rear ended by a Mercedes. The driver is Addie’s ex-boyfriend, Dylan, accompanied by his best friend, Marcus, heading to the same event. With the Mercedes out of action, Addie reluctantly offers the pair a ride in Deb’s Mini Cooper.

Unfolding from the alternating perspectives of Addie and Dylan in the ‘Now’ and the ‘Then’, the physically uncomfortable conditions created by five adults crammed into Deb’s car are almost secondary to the emotionally fraught atmosphere caused by the tumultuous history between Addie and Dylan in particular. I thought the narrative structure worked well to reveal to what happened between them in the past, and their current status with one another.

The road trip itself is beset by a chain of mishaps, from endless traffic (it’s a Bank Holiday weekend) to a breakdown, punctuated by Deb’s need to pump breastmilk, country music singalongs, and Marcus’s less obnoxious tantrums, providing plenty of humour. There’s always an edge of tension though as Addie and Dylan try to navigate their unexpected reunion, complicated by the presence of Marcus who played a significant role in their breakup.

O’Leary’s characters are interesting, all with their own lighthearted quirks, but many of them also struggle with serious issues such as clinical depression, alcoholism, addiction, sexual assault, and difficult family dynamics, making this story a little darker than her previous novels. And while there is a happy ever after for Addie and Dylan, as befitting the romance genre, it’s more mature than a fairytale ending.

Funny and engaging with a bit of edge, I enjoyed The Road Trip.

++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound I HiveUK

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  2. Helen Murdoch
    May 03, 2021 @ 09:39:05

    A good road trip book is always a fun read and if the author has thrown in humor, even better. This one sounds like fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Mystica
    May 03, 2021 @ 22:09:21

    Humour included is a plus factor.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Anne - Books of My Heart
    May 04, 2021 @ 04:27:36

    I’m debating about this one. It does sound good. Fabulous review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Jen at Introverted Reader
    May 05, 2021 @ 03:29:28

    This does sound fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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