Road Ends

Road Ends

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Set in a backwoods village in northern Canada, this is the story of a young woman who leaves her dysfunctional, male-dominated family to make a new life in London. With her dreamy mother abed upstairs, and her father passive in a house full of rambunctious, out of control male children from the age of 4-14, Megan has become the defacto mother, housekeeper, nurse, and lynchpin of her household. Wholly dependable, intelligent, lovely, they depend on her completely, two books, Mary Lawson flawlessly weaves the narration of Megan's life and love with the consequences of her departure at home, particularly for her youngest brother Adam, age 4, who has retreated into himself out of insecurity and neglect. Lawson is particularly fine in calibrating the emotional core of her characters, and the choice Megan must make, which, while poignant, in Lawson's hands is also an affirmation of what is, finally, universally important.
Publisher: New York : The Dial Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780812995732
Characteristics: 341 p.s ; 22 cm


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Jan 29, 2018

It is amazing how two dysfunctional parents can change the dynamic of the family, especially this family that had 9 kids. The mother was too attached to whoever was a baby at the time that she wasn’t aware of what was happening outside her room. The father was very aloof and detached from the family, as he struggled between not turning into the abusive man his father was and being a presence in the family. He didn’t want kids in the first place, but given that they ended up with 9 of them, Edward believed it was up to his wife Emily to take care of them and handle all of their needs.
The dysfunction then continued on down the line, with only Megan being the glue that held them together or even functional. How sad to put so much on a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her, apart from family!

Jan 17, 2018

Well-written and engaging.

I was annoyed that being the "saint" that she was, she went home to bail out her useless family. If she had let them work it out themselves, eventually they would have solved it, even if it meant hiring a full-time housekeeper. Her father was so useless and disengaged that he didn't deserve the daughter. I imagine this story happens frequently to the one girl in a family of boys. Even now.

A very satisfying read. The ending would be a tragedy if this was a choice made my daughter but all of the plot lines are completed and the story offers a fascinating insight into dysfunctional parenting where the children have to step up to fill the gap.

BPLpicks Jan 05, 2017

We follow the shifting narratives of three members of the Cartwright family as they unfold their family story in the fictional town of Struan in Northern Ontario. This book addresses the complexities of family relationships, offers well formed characters and produces a somewhat bleak but magnificent atmosphere. This is a very pleasurable read for anyone who enjoys domestic fiction. Highly recommended.

Feb 15, 2016

Not an unqualified success. This novel is told by different family members in alternating chapters, set mostly in Northern Ontario but also London in the late 1960s. At times, the character's voices do not ring true, especially the father's voice. The happy ending strains credibility.

Jul 09, 2015

Very good. Mary Lawson captures the essence of a small town in Northern Ontario in winter. The characters feel like you have known them for years and you feel invested in their personal situations. This is my second Mary Lawson book and I have been really pleased with both of them. I would definitely recommend this.

Jun 17, 2015

A real page turner. Had a lot of mixed emotions when reading this novel, including anger. Would definitely recommend it.

Jun 13, 2015

Impressive. Loved her writing style.

dairyqueen Jan 30, 2015

This book is beautifully written. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Jan 27, 2015

I loved the small town Ontario landscape. This story of a struggling family is a bit bleak but that only added to the mood of the story. I got pulled right in.

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Mar 17, 2014

P. 136 " that stage she probably trusted his judgement; she hadn't had time yet to find out that he had none. What he had instead was a lethal combination of pride and stupidity that was going to take them straight to the bottom, but she clearly had no inkling of that."
P. 81 " My father had the same totally unjustified confidence in himself-not the confidence of a man well versed in his subject but the confidence of a man who has no idea how little he knows-and the same instant aggression towards anyone who challenged him."


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