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The small town of Neverend, on the Australian eastern seaboard, is where people can relate honestly and safely to each other, have time to value relationships and the environment. It is where school students have the advantage of community life and families are more likely to have fewer economic (and therefore relationship) pressures than those in the more expensive cities. Where there is history and continuity.
Life events propel journalist Chris Baxter back to Neverend where he confronts his role as father to his teenage daughter, is offered wisdom from his mother (retired from teaching there for 40 years and is thus an integral part of the community) and, now unemployed, needs to recreate his role in society. In turn, he becomes a catalyst for his mother to revisit key life events as they dove-tail into the present where their repercussions still lie dormant.
As a background rumble, Neverend is juxtaposed against the violent politics of Indonesia of the 1960s and their implications for the contemporary relationship between Australia and this crucially important neighbor.
Rich pickings here.
Morrissey's invariably worthy themes are delivered with craft and care in her many novels. In The Road Back there is an all pervading feeling that she really wants people to accept her major themes, which she clearly believes are important for the future well-being of the places and people she cares about. As a result she over repeats and reiterates her central ideas. This amounts to something like a lack of confidence which is even reflected in the structure: rather than presenting ideas that will thread through the book and hold the reader: the beginning is slow and earnest and there is little to engage.
But Morrissey’s well deserved reputation will entice the reader to persevere and this will be rewarded.
The experienced narrator, David Tredinnick, failed to lift the slow beginning where his reading was occasionally breathy and with unexpected pauses. He succeeded in creating satisfying voices without excessive tone change but his Australian accents bordered on the patronising. Nevertheless he was a sympathetic reader.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What a great book! I really enjoyed this listen. In fact I kept looking at how long to go as I didn't want it to end. Another great book by this author and brilliant narration. THANKYOU
If you could sum up The Road Back in three words, what would they be?
Superb detailed description
What other book might you compare The Road Back to, and why?
Any other Di Morrissey book, she is the master in taking the reader to the places her stories are set in.
What didn’t you like about David Tredinnick’s performance?
I understand why a male read the story this time as the main character is male but something in his voice was not pleasant to listen to and the way he made the many female characters sound was a bit offputting, even some of the male characters were just not right. It definitely made the experience less enjoyable for me. Please let a woman read your stories!
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Don't be afraid of change.
Any additional comments?
Another great escape story as you are really transported to the beautiful surroundings of Neverend and learn to appreciate and love the characters and their descisions in life.
Not her best book; Weak story line. Well narrated however.
Looking forward to her next read.
The narrative is reasonably engaging but the writer's language expression is not to my taste. There was little space for the reader's imagination.