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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 May 2015
I so enjoyed Lawson's first two novels so I came down with a huge bump with this novel which reads more like a first novel. The hidden tragedies of a small-town Canadian family are recounted in several voices but none is really distinct enough. The story of the daughter and her early years in London give us a flavour of the city in the 1960s but read almost like a book one would buy in a supermarket.
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on 31 January 2017
I really love Mary Lawson's books, they are so intimate and totally believable. The strangely loveable, dysfunctional family in this novel is so well portrayed, and I feel really sorry to leave them. Great read.
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on 6 March 2017
Very good book Lots of characters to get to know
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on 19 August 2015
Another Mary Lawson fabulous read. All her books are superb.
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on 17 May 2017
Another enthralling novel about Struan and its inhabitants. The place is beginning to feel real!
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on 3 March 2017
. Book as described and delivered within time stated. Well packaged. Thanks.
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on 11 March 2014
It pains me to say so but this novel is not nearly as good as the previous two. The Canadian wilderness gets very little mention as most of the action is town or city based and it seems the the author writes less convincingly about urban life. There is quite a lot of 'product placement' to help set the scene in London but the episodes there about Megan read very much like romantic fiction. The life of the family in Struan is distressing but it is hard to feel any sympathy for the non coping parents as the factors behind their plight are revealed too late and they are not likeable enough to carry the tale.Tom is the most convincing character and his trauma and position were the best plot features.
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on 14 May 2014
I really loved reading Road Ends. I found the story an excellent page turner. I was gripped the whole way through. I enjoyed Road End so much that I want to buy Mary Lawson's other books that she has published. Road Ends is the first book that I have by Mary. I can honestly say that Mary Lawson has become one of my favourite authors. Megan lives with her twins brothers Peter and Corey, who are a handful she has another brother Adam and her oldest brother Tom. Their mother has had nine children of whom only eight has survived. All were boys apart from Megan. Their father Edward works in a bank. Now Megan has reached twenty-one she tells her mother she is now leaving home. Megan had already told her mum when her mother was pregnant with Adam, that she was leaving home but Emily Megan's mother does not remember Megan saying to her that she was going to leave home. Megan wonders if her mother at 45 years old is going senile. Megan's father Edward offers her the money for a flight ticket to England so Megan can go and stay with her friend in her flat in England. Megan has always helped around the house and with the boys, She has been like a mother in the house. Once Megan leaves there is no food in the house so Tom has to venture out in viciously cold snow blizzard to buy some food. A lot happens in Road Ends. There is anguish of family life, the push and pull of responsibility and individual desire, the way we can face tragedy and in time hope to start again. I hope that many readers who buy Road Ends will enjoy the story as much as I have. Review by ireadnovels.wordpress.com
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This is the first novel I have read by Mary Lawson, which I was kindly lent to read in a review copy. The story takes place in the late 1960s although as certain characters look back on growing up it does span the earlier years of the Twentieth Century. The story itself isn’t told in a conventional way; instead it is told through three characters. Edward, who is the father, is told in the first person, and Tom and Megan, brother and sister, are told in the third person.

Set mainly in the small town of Struan, in Northern Ontario this does also take in other places, noticeably Sixties London. At the heart of this story though is a family, a very dysfunctional one at that. The father goes to work and spends his evenings in his study, whilst the mother, who is always seemingly having a new baby, is wrapped up in that, and lets everything else go to seed. Megan is the only girl in the house being surrounded by her brothers, and along with the cleaner who comes in a couple of times a week, really runs the household.

When Megan leaves home to seek out a new life in London, obviously the family starts falling to pieces. Why this works is that through the eyes of the three main characters you can see why the family is the way it is. Tom is feeling depressed and isolated by the suicide of his friend, as well as what led up to it, whereas through Edward you can see why the family is set on such a chaotic course.

I found I did enjoy this to quite a large extent, but I did at times get a bit annoyed at Megan’s experiences in London as from a bumpy start everything just seemed too pat and smooth for her after that, to a large extent. The dynamics and psychology of the family was very interesting, and although quite deep was easy to understand. This may make an interesting read for a book group, as there is quite a bit here that could lead to a good conversation.
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on 24 February 2017
I'm surprised that so many people found this book disappointing - I was captivated from page 1. Mary Lawson writes exquisitely (this reminded me of Anne Tyler's Spool of Blue Thread - if you enjoyed that, I think you'd like this), her characters feel real, the dialogue is convincing, the setting tangible. I didn't want it to end. My one criticism is that I don't think the title - which is a bit bland and non-descript - really does the book justice. More please, Mary Lawson!
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