“The Road Trip” by Beth O’Leary
Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian
Addie and her sister Deb get dream summer jobs through a wealthy college friend: caretakers for a villa in Provence. Addie is confused when the family who booked the dozen-room luxury retreat turns out to be one person: the adorably posh Dylan. Addie is trying to redefine herself as fun-loving and carefree, and as such starts a summer fling with Dylan. But their relationship evolves into love over the course of the summer and then continues in their lives in England…when Dylan finally decides to stop traveling the world with his best friend Marcus.
Settling into a routine, or at least trying to, and balancing love, life and friendships strains their relationship to the breaking point. After over a year and a half without contact Addie, Dylan, Marcus, Deb, and Rodney (who is this guy?!) are forced to share a ride to a mutual friend’s wedding. Can they all survive this road trip?
What starts as a summer romance becomes what I consider a romance with substance. The romance is the heart of the novel, but there is depth to the narrative as the characters need to grow before their love can flourish. Depression, alcoholism, and codependency, are a few of the realistic issues tackled in this novel. Even when you are very frustrated with a character and the mistakes they made in the past, you can empathize with them because you see them in the present in the next chapter. The back and forth between past and present worked very well.
Romance lovers, character study fans, and those aching for a good road trip will enjoy this one.