Redemption Road

I was fortunate to be sent a copy of Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne for review,from the publishers, Little, Brown Book Group UK via Netgalley. It is the story of Margaret Holloway, known as Moll by her family in her childhood, at the end of 2013 a respected, and enthusiastic teacher. On her way home one evening, poor driving conditions result in a pile up on the motorway as she makes her way home, and she soon realises that her life is in danger, as it becomes apparent that her car is about to explode. Margaret’s life is saved by a stranger, who risks his own life to get her safely from the car, and she is left traumatised, but not physically badly injured. As the story develops, Margaret becomes increasingly interested in a period of her childhood about which she has many repressed memories. We read a lot about the time in 1985 When ‘Big George’ comes to visit Moll and her Mum and changes the course of her childhood and subsequent adult life. At the same time, she wants to find the man who saved her, so that she can thank him properly. Margaret soon finds him in a coma at the hospital, and when it is clear that he has no relatives or visitors, she starts to visit him. To say more about how the story develops would spoil the enjoyment for other readers, but it should be said that the story does develop well and is a gripping emotional tale. It is an easy read, though dramatic and one that is difficult to put down – I found myself promising ‘just one more chapter’ more than once. The book is set in the (almost) present day when Margaret is a grown woman with her own family and career, and the mid 1980s when she was growing up in Thurso. Each chapter is headed with the date and name of the character principally involved, so it is easy to differentiate which part of the story is developing, and this doesn’t detract from the flow of the book at all, in my opinion. There are strong characters in the book – some more likeable than others (one or two quite unlikeable!) and the whole range of powerful emotions is packed in there. I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes the sound of the plot. Not having read any of this author’s work previously, I will certainly look out for others.

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