Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book by the author and publisher but this in no way has impacted my review of it.
Ruth Morris is forced to sell her house after a fall by her workaholic son, Michael and moved into Banksia House. She may be 81 years old, but that doesn’t mean she has lost her ability to live. As she grieves over the loss of her independence, she finds out her best friend, Gladys is dying in Brisbane. Ruth is determined to see her even if Michael refuses. With the help of her fellow residents, Ruth escapes from Banksia house with Beryl and Keith. Together they embark on a road trip from Sydney to Brisbane where they meet backpackers & bikies, stay in hostels, attend a wedding at Byron & get to know each other better. But will they get to Brisbane in time to see Gladys or will the police catch up to them?
The Banksia House Breakout by debut author James Roxburgh was a feel-good read for me. It was uplifting & joyous all at once while also sensitively exploring issues of elder abuse and coercive control. As a society, we tend to write off the elderly even when they are completely capable of managing their affairs & elder abuse is not something we talk about much. The sense of place was fantastic & I enjoyed going on the road trip up north, especially having done it myself. The characters, particularly Ruth, Jean and Beryl were fantastic! Even Michael was intriguing despite his unlikeability.
This book had the right amount of adventure, emotion, and empathic characters to keep me hooked. And that’s saying something given current lockdown times & my shocking attention span. It was also the uplifting read I didn’t know I needed earlier this month.
Read this to feel good, to follow an adventure & to travel vicariously. P.S Stay tuned for an interview with James on the blog on Monday!
|15 September 2021