A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington


About the Book

Meet Tom. Or Dr O’Grady, as he used to be called. When you pass him on the street, most people don’t even give him a second glance. You see, Tom isn’t living his best life. Burdened by grief, he’s only got his loyal dog, Bette Davis, for company and a rucksack containing his whole world.

Then there’s Ruth and her son, DJ, who no longer have a place to call home.
But Ruth believes that you can change the world by helping one person at a time – and Tom needs her help…

What I thought

Oh my goodness, I know I say this from time to time but this has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is such a beautifully written story, it melts your heart and you can’t help but fall for all the characters. It makes you feel sad, happy, hopeful and joyous. As well as a brew and a comfy spot to read, you’ll need a box of tissues to hand too, because there’ll be tears and sniffles as you tread those thousand roads.

Though it may make you cry, what I loved about this story and other books like it, is that even though it may bring a tear to your eye on more than one occasion it isn’t over sentimental or slushy. It’s real life, with characters who jump off the page and who will make you want everything to work out well for them.

The story focuses on three main characters. There’s Ruth. Ruth is mum to 10 year old DJ. Ruth has brought DJ up as a single parent since birth with no support from family and she herself has Aspergers syndrome. Because of her Aspergers she’s had a lifetime of being misunderstood by people, had few friends and often finds life hard after more or less being rejected by her own mother. Through no fault of her own she finds herself homeless and ends up in temporary accommodation at The Silver Sands Lodge Hotel along with other families in the same position.

Tom is also homeless. Tom however isn’t even afforded the ‘luxury’ of temporary accommodation and has spent the last 10 years sleeping rough in parks with his dog Bette Davis as his only companion in life.

Then there’s DJ, Ruth’s son. He too finds life difficult. He doesn’t want his friends at school to know they live in a hotel.  Though DJ loves his mum very much he has had to grow up fast as he tries to support her as best he can when she finds everything too overwhelming because of her Aspergers. Even so there are times when DJ just wishes things were different and often asks about his Dad and where he is.

As the book moves on the threads of Tom’s story become interlinked with Ruth’s and together they form a friendship and offer mutual support. There are some fantastic supporting characters and it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom with many humorous moments throughout.

By the time you get towards the end, all the characters have you completely hooked and you find yourself rooting for them all, hoping for a favourable outcome. There used to be an advert on TV for Readybrek, the kids went off to school on a winters morning with the glow of central heating that Readybrek supposedly provided surrounding them. That is exactly what reading this does for you – surrounds you in a cosy glow of friendship, love and hope whenever you pick it up.

An absolutely brilliant read I thought, which will stay with me for a long time to come. I got my e-book copy from the library but the paperback edition is out today and I may well buy it. I don’t often read a fiction book more than once, but I think this is one I could make an exception for so I can go back and have a read whenever I fancy a warm, comforting blanket to wrap myself up in.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

The paperback edition is out for publication today 8 August and is also available on Kindle, most probably at the library and in other bookshops too.  If you go to the Amazon Kindle page for this book – a reviewer has posted a gorgeous drawing of Tom with his dog, I love that

2 thoughts on “A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington

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