SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: REDEMPTION ROAD BY LISA BALLANTYNE

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). 

I think it was the blurb that caught my attention about Redemption Road. I’m one of these hopeful people who always tries to find the best in others … which drives Blue Eyes crazy at times. Here’s the blurb:

2014, London: Trapped inside a car about to explode, Margaret is rescued by a scarred stranger who then disappears. Margaret remembers little, but she’s spent her life remembering little – her childhood is full of holes and forgotten memories. And now, for the first time, she has a burning desire to discover who she is. And find the man who saved her life.

1985, Scotland: Big George, the dreamer, the soft touch of a family of notorious Glaswegian hard men, has not seen his baby girl, Moll, since she was born. And now he wants her back. So he takes her, with no thought to the consequences. And they very soon find themselves on a road trip that changes them both forever.

This dual narrative/time period story explores themes of forgiveness and redemption, and nature v nurture, taking readers from a dark place of blocked memories and old assumptions to a new place of understanding. The past and present ties together well, giving readers a slow-reveal picture of what really happened to young Moll long ago. It’s a story of love, of making mistakes, and of the ties that bind us to others. As much as it’s Margaret’s quest to unblock the past, it’s George’s story of shaking off the shackles of a (very) dysfunctional family background and trying to make wrongs right. I particularly enjoyed the growing bond between George and Moll – the scenes where Moll, all of seven, teaches her gentle giant father to read, are a pleasure.

Redemption Road is available from bookstores and Hachette Australia.