The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary | Book Review

“We speed along the A34. Already the heat is as thick as honey, viscous and sweet. It’s turning into a glorious summer morning: the sky is a deep lapis lazuli blue, and the fields are sun-kissed and yellow-bright on either side of the road. It’s the sort of day that tastes of crushed ice and suntan lotion, ripe strawberries, the sweet head rush of too many gin and tonics.”

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

 
26. The Road Trip

In her latest offering, author Beth O’Leary tells another unusual story, this one involving exes, their crazy friends, and a stranger thrown in for good measure. With them, she takes us along on the journey they embark on – a three hundred and fifty eight mile road trip – packed in a tiny car.

Being cramped in such close quarters for an extended period of time can bring out the worst in anyone. Multiply that by five and you know you have a hopelessly comical setting. This is just one of the reasons that continue to draw me to O’Leary’s writing.

Addie and Dylan had no intentions of facing each other at their friend’s wedding and, as fate would have it, they are thrown together once again. Something happened between them two years ago, something so terrible it resulted in a devastating breakup. As the travellers progress on their trip, the story alternates between Thentracing their budding romance up to the events that led to the breakupand Nowthe aftermath of their broken relationship.

If you think that might get a tad complicated, there are some quirky characters for balance – Addie’s sister Deb who is an absolute fireball (and easily my favourite of the lot), Dylan’s friend Marcus who couldn’t be any worse if he tried, and Rodney the tag-along who just needs a way to get to the wedding.

The crazy journey and the revelations made along the way make a fascinating narrative, so much so you forget these people are headed to a wedding until the reader’s attention is brought back to the fact.

O’Leary tells unconventional stories brimming with comedy and romance. But another reason her books find their mark is in the way her characters highlight challenges women face in a deeply patriarchal society. Here, she explores alcohol abuse, depression, consent and sexual assault. Her sensitive portrayal of these issues when intricately woven into the plot is testament to her strong and determined writing voice.

Wildly amusing that you’ll split your sides from laughing hard but also hear the cracks in your heart from the unpredictably tender love story.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary. Published on 29th April 2021 by Quercus Books, a Hachette UK Company. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Quercus Books UK.

Book 26 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: The journey from Chichester to Scotland is covered in a Mini Cooper carrying 5 passengers which becomes quite a tight fit for an eight-hour drive.
This paper craft version of the Mini Cooper is created from 210gsm Ivory using a template by Wongday Papercraft.
 
26. The Road Trip
 
About the Author: Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her debut novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work. The Road Trip is her third novel after The Switch.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).
Find her on on Instagram and Facebook.

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