When I find a book that is hard to put down, I like to share it with readers of my blog. Several months ago, a friend who lives in Winnipeg, Canada recommended a book she'd just finished. I wrote down the name and then forgot to check to see if our library had a copy. Recently, I found the snippet of paper where I'd written the name. So I looked up the book in my library's online catalog.
Sure enough--they had a copy of Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens. That afternoon, I added a stop at the library to my list of errands. The book cover has a picture of a woman and young child walking down a road, as seen from behind. The woman is holding the child's hand, or if you wish, the little girl has her hand safely inside the woman's hand. The cover picture drew me in more than the title.
I started reading that evening and was hooked in a very few pages. The story is about a 70 year old black woman who lives in a trailer in a small town in Canada. The time is the 1970's. A white woman, mother of a biracial child, asks Addy Shadd to take care of her little girl for the summer. They both know the woman is never going to come back for the child. Sharla, the little girl who has been cursed and rejected all her life finds a true home and real love with Addy. The story of Addy's sorrow-filled life is told in flashbacks that somehow do not detract from the present story of the woman and child. The writing is powerful, forthright, and pulls no punches. The author has the ability to reach out and pull emotion from the reader. Three gold stars to her for that ability. Many try and never achieve it.
Addy worries about what will happen to Sharla when she dies, for she sees signs that the end of her life is not far off. The reader worries right along with her. I admire the writing skill of Ms. Lensens, and I think you will, too. Rush Home Road is the first of the three novels written by Lori Lensens, who wrote films prior to that--encouraged by her actor-tunred-director husband.
I am nearing the end of the novel and am sorry to have it come to an end. But like all things, it must have a conclusion. If you're looking for a good summer read, look up this book