This 2002 debut novel stayed with me, long after I turned the last page. I needed to carry it around inside, and savor it before even thinking about starting a new book. That’s when I knew I’d found a special book; one that demands to be remembered.
Five-year-old Sharla doesn’t have a normal life; especially since her questionable Mama sends her off to Addy Shadd’s place to live. Although they share a trailer park, Sharla has no clue which one Addy lives in, and sets off with her garbage bag of clothes and little else.
70 year-old Addy knows little of Sharla’s circumstances, but offered to take the little girl for the summer when asked. What she doesn’t count on is having the girl’s idiotic mama take off in the dead of the night; leaving her in sole charge of Sharla.
As the two start a life together, Addy is reminded of her own childhood in Rusholme Ontario and the painful memories she left behind. Her childhood home was settled by fugitive slaves. The joys of her youth and eventual deep sorrow, that had her walk away, is stirred by this girl’s presence. Both are alone in this place, and the bond they share challenges Addy to rediscover her past.
This story was written by a magical hand. The flow and deep emotions travel throughout this tale of two stories; the present with Addy and Sharla patchworking their lives together, and Addy’s past. Rush Home Road touched me deeply. It’s emotionally raw and real, and the heart of this story is full to the brim with love. Despite life’s trials, it always boils down to love. Every lost child needs an Addy Shadd in their lives, and I’ll never forget her.
Lori’s second book is titled, The Girls. Her latest, A Wife’s Tale, was released in February 2010. I’ll definitely be catching up with Lori’s list.