Rules of the Road is the emotionally charged new novel from Ciara Geraghty. I’ve read a few of her books before, Finding Mr Flood being a particular favourite and have always found that her books have the ability to make me laugh and also to make me cry.
Terry’s week takes a very unexpected turn when first she has to take on the care of her elderly father Eugene when his nursing home has to close temporarily, and then she discovers that her best friend Iris has disappeared, which is completely out of character for her. Naturally worried for Iris, she starts to try to find out what has happened to her and comes across a note which soon has her and her father taking an impromptu road trip from Ireland to Great Britain and on into Europe.
This book is one of these which poses an ethical dilemma. I won’t say what this particular dilemma is as I don’t want to give away anything from the plot but as is often the case in fiction, I do not know what I would have done faced with the same circumstances. Terry is a character who I could very much identify with. She has always been there for her husband and their two girls (both now grown up but both still quite reliant on their mum). In some ways she’s quite obsessive and controlling but not in a bad way. She knows where everything is, knows what needs to be done when, knows everyone’s routines and knows just exactly how everything can be cleaned. This makes her spontaneous decision to try to find Iris and to take her father with her seem even more surprising.
Eugene has dementia and is at the stage of the disease where he needs a lot of help but still has flashes of the person he used to be. It was touching to read about how tender Terry was with him and how kind other people were to him when realising his situation. It was also rather sad to read about his flickers of memory and his childlike confusion.
Sadness was an emotion I experienced a lot when reading this book. I wouldn’t normally give a so-called trigger warning about a book but I feel I should mention that if you are coping with or know someone with a terminal condition or dementia you may find this a difficult read. On the other hand, you may find it comforting and reassuring. Because what comes out of the different situations is Terry’s courage and the strength of friendship between herself and Iris. She also begins to learn that she can live for herself and not just for her friends and family, however important they are and continue to be in her life.
Rules of the Road is an emotional, beautifully written book. Although there are without doubt, some very poignant moments, there is also a lot of warmth and humour. This is a powerful and moving novel about friendship and courage and living life to the full.
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the publishers for my copy of the book which I won in a giveaway. Rules of the Road is available now in all formats and you will find buying options for various retailers on the Harper Collins website here: Rules of the Road
From the back of the book
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.
Tuesday morning starts like any other – until Terry discovers her best friend Iris has gone missing. Finding her takes Terry, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene, into an extraordinary journey – one that will change all of their lives. And, along the way, what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.
Because friendship teaches us all to be brave. And, sometimes, the rules are made to be broken.
About the author
Ciara Geraghty was born and raised in Dublin. She started writing in her thirties and hasn’t looked back. She has three children and one husband and they have recently adopted a dog who, alongside their youngest daughter, is in charge of pretty much everything.