The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge returns with a brilliantly layered novel about self-sacrifice, family relationships, and the weight of our responsibility to those we love.
Twenty-one-year-old Megan Cartwright has never been outside Struan, Ontario, a small town of deep woods and forbidding winters. The second oldest in a house with seven brothers, Megan is the caregiver, housekeeper, and linchpin of the family, but the day comes when she decides it's time she had a life of her own. Leaving everything behind, Megan sets out for London.
In the wake of her absence, her family begins to unravel. Megan's parents and brothers withdraw from one another, leading emotionally isolated lives while still under the same roof. Her oldest brother, Tom, reeling from the death of his best friend, rejects a promising future to move back home. Emily, her mother, rarely leaves the room where she dreamily dotes on her newborn son, while Megan's four-year-old brother, Adam, is desperate for warmth and attention. And as time passes, Megan's father, Edward, stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that his household is coming undone. Torn between her independence and family ties, Megan must make an impossible choice.
Nuanced, compelling, and searingly honest, Road Ends illuminates how we each make peace with the demands of love. Mary Lawson delivers compassion and heartbreak in equal measure in her most stunning novel to date.
Praise for Road Ends
"Mary Lawson's story of a dysfunctional family in a northern Ontario logging town is told in scenes that are as palpably tender and surprising as they are quietly disturbing. . . . [Lawson] has an uncanny talent for evoking the textures of her characters' moods while moving them unsentimentally through London and Struan." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Like all great writers--and Lawson is among the finest--she tells her story in a deceptively simple and straightforward way, but one that resonates with anyone who has ever struggled with doing the right thing by a family member despite a desperate longing to escape that burden." -- The Star
"[Lawson] can justifiably lay claim to an oeuvre as well as a personal geography. If the part of Ontario west of Toronto is Munro country, then the area northwest of New Liskeard and Cobalt--where her fictional towns of Struan and Crow Lake are roughly located--may well end up being dubbed Lawson Country." -- National Post
"A beautiful novel, with the psychological twists and turns of each character gently and poignantly unfurled." -- The Globe and Mail
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P. 136 "...at that stage she probably trusted his judgement; she hadn't had time yet to find out that he had none. What he had instead was a lethal combination of pride and stupidity that was going to take them straight to the bottom, but she clearly had no inkling of that."
P. 81 " My father had the same totally unjustified confidence in himself-not the confidence of a man well versed in his subject but the confidence of a man who has no idea how little he knows-and the same instant aggression towards anyone who challenged him."
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