Road Ends

Road Ends

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From an acclaimed writer whose work invites comparisons to Elizabeth Strout, Rick Bass, and Richard Ford comes a brilliantly layered novel about self-sacrifice, family relationships, and the weight of our responsibility to those we love.

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
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780812995749
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


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May 28, 2019

Ireally loved this book,love her style of writing,now going to read her other two books.
I hope she writes more.

May 17, 2019

8. Good read.

lotuslori_8 Mar 11, 2019

I don't normally like stories about dysfunctional families, but I found this one to be compelling and heartfelt.

Jan 29, 2018

It is amazing how two dysfunctional parents can change the dynamic of the family, especially this family that had 9 kids. The mother was too attached to whoever was a baby at the time that she wasn’t aware of what was happening outside her room. The father was very aloof and detached from the family, as he struggled between not turning into the abusive man his father was and being a presence in the family. He didn’t want kids in the first place, but given that they ended up with 9 of them, Edward believed it was up to his wife Emily to take care of them and handle all of their needs.
The dysfunction then continued on down the line, with only Megan being the glue that held them together or even functional. How sad to put so much on a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her, apart from family!

Jan 17, 2018

Well-written and engaging.

I was annoyed that being the "saint" that she was, she went home to bail out her useless family. If she had let them work it out themselves, eventually they would have solved it, even if it meant hiring a full-time housekeeper. Her father was so useless and disengaged that he didn't deserve the daughter. I imagine this story happens frequently to the one girl in a family of boys. Even now.

A very satisfying read. The ending would be a tragedy if this was a choice made my daughter but all of the plot lines are completed and the story offers a fascinating insight into dysfunctional parenting where the children have to step up to fill the gap.

BPLpicks Jan 05, 2017

We follow the shifting narratives of three members of the Cartwright family as they unfold their family story in the fictional town of Struan in Northern Ontario. This book addresses the complexities of family relationships, offers well formed characters and produces a somewhat bleak but magnificent atmosphere. This is a very pleasurable read for anyone who enjoys domestic fiction. Highly recommended.

Feb 15, 2016

Not an unqualified success. This novel is told by different family members in alternating chapters, set mostly in Northern Ontario but also London in the late 1960s. At times, the character's voices do not ring true, especially the father's voice. The happy ending strains credibility.

Jul 09, 2015

Very good. Mary Lawson captures the essence of a small town in Northern Ontario in winter. The characters feel like you have known them for years and you feel invested in their personal situations. This is my second Mary Lawson book and I have been really pleased with both of them. I would definitely recommend this.

Jun 17, 2015

A real page turner. Had a lot of mixed emotions when reading this novel, including anger. Would definitely recommend it.

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Mar 17, 2014

P. 136 " 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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