TW: rape, sexual assault
I read this book back in May and somehow never reviewed it, but I wanted to write something about it because this is a great novel that I enjoyed reading.
As a big fan of O’Leary’s pervious novels, I was so excited for The Road Trip, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Road Trip is aptly named, and follows a car full of people on the way to a wedding. Due to an earlier accident, the car contains Addie, Deb (Addie’s sister), Rodney (a fellow wedding guest), Dylan (Addie’s ex), and Marcus (Dylan’s friend). Understandably, there are a lot of feelings swirling in the car and history between the characters to be unfurled.
The novel follows two timelines, the present day journey to the wedding, and a past timeline that fills in the story of Addie and Dylan’s relationship. As the two progress, we know that what we learn about Addie and Dylan’s past and the reason for their breakup will be important to their present. Wanting to find out what happened in the past, and what would happen in the present, kept me turning the pages with interest.
The characters in the novel are well-rounded and being able to see how and why they had changed from past to present created expanded character arcs. I liked how fleshed out and complex the characters were and they felt flawed and relatable.
O’Leary manages to fill the novel with her usual mix of humour, an original and engaging plot, as well as deeper issues that are sensitively explored.
The Road Trip explores the effects of breakups, the importance of taking action, and whether we should give people a second chance.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading another Beth O’Leary novel, and I highly recommend giving her books a try. O’Leary remains one of my favourite authors and her books are definitely auto-buys for me.