Books Magazine

Road Ends by Mary Lawson

By Curlygeek04 @curlygeek04

road endsMary Lawson is a writer most of you haven’t read, but you should.  Her books are wonderful.  She writes about families, small towns, and the powerful force of family responsibilities and obligations.

Road Ends is about a family in a very small town, Struan, Ontario.  This is a town where everything shuts down most of the winter, where there’s one grocery store and one diner.  The Cartwright family has eight children; Tom and Megan are the two eldest.  Tom is the brilliant one, who went away to college and studied aeronautical engineering.  Megan stayed home to cook and clean and care for all the children.  But as this book begins, Tom has come home after his best friend’s suicide, and Megan decides it’s time to get away for the first time in her life.  She moves to London and puts her housekeeping skills to good use working in a small hotel.  She misses her family terribly, especially little Adam who is a baby when she leaves.  But she’s afraid if she ever goes back, she won’t get away again.

Tom, on the other hand, has to adjust to life back in Struan and figure out what to do next.  He drives a snow plow, eats at the diner every day, and talks to no one.  Unfortunately, with Megan out of the house, and yet another baby, the family is falling apart.  His mother does nothing but care for the baby.  Dad spends his days at work or in the study, and little Adam isn’t eating or bathing.  Tom begins to step up and take some responsibility for his family, but he does so grudgingly, since his parents really aren’t doing anything.

The double standard in this family towards men and women is maddening.  Everyone in the family wonders when Tom is going to start his career, and when Megan is going to come back and take care of everyone.  The father is sympathetic but does absolutely nothing for his children. The problem for Megan, which is an interesting one, is that she wants to rebel against these expectations but she also really wants to take care of them.  By taking a stand she has also isolated herself from the people she cares about.

What makes this book work is that Tom and Megan really have to work through a lot of internal issues, as does their father, and all three of them grow as the book progresses, although that growth is slow and incremental.  At times I wanted to scream at all of them.

I felt conflicted about the ending; it seemed a bit rushed and none of the issues seemed resolved.  I don’t mind a messy ending but this one left me unsatisfied.  For that reason, I liked it slightly less than Lawson’s previous two books, which I highly recommend.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Team of European and Middle Eastern Women Ski to the North Pole

    Team European Middle Eastern Women North Pole

    A team of adventurous women from Europe and the Middle East completed a last degree ski expedition – which calls itself the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole... Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Kungfujedi
  • Deaddicting Yourself

    Deaddicting Yourself

    Do you have a habit that you want to get rid off but are so addicted to it that you have no idea -How To Do That? Do you realize that a particular trait is... Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Chetan
  • Design Diary: Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation by Helios Design Group

    Design Diary: Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Group

    I write a lot of one page design columns for Boston Globe Magazine. This one, published last fall with photos by Jared Kuzia, is one of my favorites. Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Stylecarrot
  • The Hipster


    According to Wiki, "The hipster subculture is stereotypically composed of younger and middle-aged adults who reside primarily in gentrified neighbourhoods. Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Ashleylister
  • Airbus A330-200, Iberia

    Airbus A330-200, Iberia

    @ San Francisco, CA April 2018 Iberia flight 6175 on final approach as it nears completion of the inaugural flight from Madrid, Spain.  This marks the start of... Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Htam
  • Himalaya Spring 2018: Collapse in Icefall Injures Two Sherpas

    Himalaya Spring 2018: Collapse Icefall Injures Sherpas

    As if the climbers, Sherpas, and porters on the South Side of Everest got a sharp reminder of the dangers they face yesterday when a section of the Khumbu... Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Kungfujedi
  • Questions Not Normally Asked by Golf Beginners

    Questions Normally Asked Golf Beginners

    Learning all there is to the game of golf isn't easy - aside from attaining a repeatable swing, selecting the right golf clubs and cultivating proper... Read more

    The 26 April 2018 by   Golfforbeginners