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The Road Back

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Road Back is a split era novel set in the 1950s and 1995; it's a novel about relationships and how the past impacts upon the present. Set against a cultural background rarely featured in novels - that of the Buddhist part of Ladakh, a country to the west of Tibet - it tells of a passion that crosses cultures, of a love that lasts a lifetime, and of hope that can only c ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published September 7th 2012 by Choc Lit (first published July 31st 2012)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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4.5 stars

In 1962 Patricia Carstairs visits Ladakh, a small Himalayan country west of Tibet, with her father Major George Carstairs who had spent time in Ladakh whilst stationed in India during the war. Their pony-man, guide and translator is Kalden, a young man who has learnt English from visiting missionaries. Patricia is almost eighteen, Kalden is eighteen and they fall in love.

When Patricia's strict father finds out about the affair between his daughter and Kalden, he forbids her to see him a
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
The story begins in the 1990s where we are briefly introduced to Amy a young woman adopted at an early age searching for clues about her birth parents, we learn that her name at birth was Nima and she has unusual eyes which mark her out as being a little different.

Then the story flashes back to the 1950s and we are introduced to the main heroine of the tale Patricia, sister to the chronically sick James she bears the brunt of her domineering ex-army major fathers disappointment that he doesn't h
Carol W
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
1995 - Amy wants to find out about her birth parents and why her mother gave her up for adoption.

The author takes us back to 1951 when Amy's mother, Patricia is just 7 years old and living with her family in London. We find a young girl eager to please her father Major George Carstairs. Not an easy task when her father has difficulty coming to terms with her brother's illness.

In a remote village in Ladakh 8 year old Kalden lives a completely different lifestyle. The fourth son in the family, he
Siobhan Daiko
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What I loved about this novel were the authentic descriptions of the settings which really brought Ladakh alive. I could almost feel I was there. Yet in no way did it seem as if I was reading a travelogue and the story held my interest throughout it was so well-written. Liz Harris has the ability to conjure up a different world and make it totally enchanting. The hero captured my heart along with the heroine’s and I was longing for a happy ending. The rapport between Kalden and Patricia, who fal ...more
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully told story and I liked that it stretched over different generations and cultures. It highlights how attitudes change with each generation and what was impossible for one generation is acceptable for another. It describes life and customs in Ladakh in great detail but it is so interwoven into the story that it sits very naturally. It's essentially a lovely love story but there is so much more to this tale. Like all of Liz Harris books I've read so far it's not predictable an ...more
June Jones
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a cruel man Patricia's father was, and her mother weak and under the thumb. You definitely need a large box of tissues for the love story, I cried buckets. Would recommend. ...more
Shaz Goodwin
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The prologue (August 1995) in The Road Back ties up with Part Two. It’s difficult to say any more as I don’t want to write any spoilers! It is an integral part to the story.

Chapter One finds us in London in 1951. The reader is introduced to Patricia Carstairs childhood and the expectations of her father, Major George Carstairs. He is pedantic and has a saturnine personality, dominating her home life. We also find out about Patricia’s brother James. Chapter Two we meet Kalden and we’re introduced
Tara Chevrestt
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-release, romance
I give this book major points for uniqueness, in story, setting, and ending. It's also very heavy on grief, how people handle it, and things parents can do wrong. At least, that's what I felt as I read this.
Patricia has been living in the shadow of her brother her entire life. Her brother was her father's pride and joy, but he suffers seizures. Some part of her father blames her for it and no matter what she does or accomplishes, she isn't as good as what James could have been or the situation w
The Commuting Bookworm
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Road Back by Liz Harris

When Patricia accompanies her father, Major George Carstairs on a trip to Ladakh, north of the Himalayas, in the early 1960s, she sees it as a chance to finally win his love. What she could never have foreseen is meeting Kalden – a local man destined by circumstances beyond his control to be a monk, but fated to be the love of her life. Despite her fathers fury, the lovers are determined to be together, but can forbidden love survive?

The story is classic, girl meets b
Blodeuedd Finland
This book takes place in the in the past, and a bit in the present too. But we know from the start that something went wrong. Patricia's daughter wants answer. So what happened?

The heroine Patricia is the perfect good girl, trying to to the best she can to make her father proud. Oh her dad, he was an ass, he mourned that his son never would follow in his footsteps. I could not have put up with it like Patricia did, but I understood why. And it is rooted deep within her since childhood.

Then we co
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
The Road Back is beautifully written, with great descriptions of the Himalayas and the culture of the Ladakh people. It was done in such a way that it really took you there, made you feel like you were experiencing it all for yourself first hand.

The first half of the story gradually introduced the main characters, Kalden and Patricia, over a period of years. It showed how different their lives were, how their cultures were so diverse – literally words apart. Once they met, for me, it was here th
Diana Jackson
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read two delicious books this new year, both from debut novelists, which is refreshing. I am going to begin with ‘The Road Back’ by Liz Harris, picked up in a little Indie Bookshop I discovered in Burnham Beeches called Horizon Bookshop, perfectly located next to Costa Coffee.
It took seconds to be absorbed in this lovely novel, set in London but also in Ladakh, a little village high up in the mountains. Patricia grows up with a disabled brother and domineering father. Her relationship with
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
So often these days, I’m finding that my favourite books are published by ChocLit. This one is a wonderful story, rich and romantic, a real escapist read of the first order. Patricia travels to Ladakh in the Himalayas with her authoritarian father, and finds love with Kalden, their guide. There’s a great deal more to the story than that – both before and after their meeting – but too much detail might spoil the discovery for others. This story had a bit of everything I enjoy – a really engaging ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Road Back is partly set in London, but mostly in Ladakh, north of the Himalayas. It is the story of an English girl, Patricia, desperately trying to please her domineering father, and of the unexpected love she finds with a Ladakhi man, Kalden, when she and her father visit that country in the early 1960s. It is unbelievably poignant and their love is seemingly doomed when they are discovered by Patricia’s irate father. But is there a chance all could end well after all? I won’t spoil it for ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent study of how one generation's hang-ups affect the next, but related through a deeply engaging love story. Vivid and comprehensive descriptions of both the country and the emotional landscape of the characters enrichens the story.

The only character I ddn't engage with 100% was Amy. She seemed a little quick to turn from hostile to loving to adventurous. But Patricia and Kaldan were beautifully drawn. And the author made me feel sympathy for the unlikeable Major trapped in his class, gri
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it

A beautiful story that unfortunately had so much sadness I could hardly bare it. Interesting looking at some many different decades in two separate cultures. The book could of had so much more detail but wasn't short of emotion.

I was hooked from the first page, it had me smiling, gasping, crying and staring at some pages in disbelief... Wanting to shout "how could you do that?"

Your mind will come alive with beautiful images of a country I knew nothing about. Your heart will soar with love and e
Lady Drinkwell
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up on a buy one get one half price offer at the airport as I liked the cover, the setting (Ladkh) and the post-war period. However I thought it was literary fiction when in fact it is choclit (that is the actual publisher). I enjoyed the beginning of the book when the charcters' chidhods were described. The Ladkh setting and background were particularly well done. However as soon as they fell in love a first sight (their eyes met etc etc) I realized that this was not the book ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Can't recommend this book enough. A lot of the story is set in the Himalayas, and Liz manages to make you want to give up all your luxuries and head for a life that's far more basic, and also far more satisfying. Fantastic images, and empathetic characters that you immediately feel you know. The Road Back is the love story of a young English girl, and a boy from Ladakh who is destined to be a monk. Just beautifully written, and a very satisfying ending, though tinged with some sadness too. ...more
Beverley Eikli
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books that had me thinking about the characters long after I'd finished the book. I was drawn in initially by the thoroughly drawn characters and the complex family dynamics between the main character Patricia and her family.

After that the romance took over, which was charming and absorbing.

I found the ending quite surprising. Without giving anything away, I was not disappointed by the time I reached the end.

Highly recommended!
Kerri Harris
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
What a wonderful story! Was very interesting reading between the different decades and different cultures, made me appreciate how much easier we have everything now. The book was so emotional that at points I had to put it down and take a break before carrying on reading. Such a lovely book and characters and so beautifully written it made you feel as if you we're there experiencing it all with them, a must read. ...more
Diane Mooney
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
It took me a wee bit of time to get into this book but once I did I was hooked. What a beautiful story, wonderfully written. I felt like I travelled through the Himalayas with Patricia and fell equally in love with the Ladakh people and their culture. The heartbreaks were all subtly written, however, this books gem is in the fact that it manages to leave you with a lovely fuzzy warm feeling at the end and I enjoyed it.
Liz Willoughby
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An amazing debut novel with a gorgeous love story. I actually shed a tear part way through. Couldn't put this novel down. I feel I know Ladakh and I've a real hankering to go and find Kalden's village. Beautiful as Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse himself) has stated on the front cover. Highly recommended. ...more
Diana H.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: chic-lit
I wouldn't necessarily say this is straight romance although there is romantic elements in this story. The author has put together some interesting characters, settings, and plot points in one story and managed to make it all come out well in the end. In fact the end is a surprise that brought a tear to my eye. ...more
Julie James
Jul 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed by this book. Characters are flat, predictable stereotypes. No interesting aspects or development. I'm traveling to Ladakh in September and thought this would be an interesting view to the culture but the book was a real letdown. ...more
Liz Fenwick
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A beautiful, evocative, emotional read.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
My review of The Road Back - ...more
4.5 Stars reviewed by Jill for Romantic Historical Lovers

Azra tariq
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Description of the place was written beautifully as were the feelings which were heart breaking intense. Magical ending which I never expected. Overall, an excellent read.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really cute book! Ending was a bit cheesy, but i really liked it.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was a very interesting yet predictable story. I enjoyed all the fact that it was set in a remote part of India which was very interesting to read about
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Born in London, Liz Harris graduated from university with a Law degree, and then moved to California, where she led a varied life, from waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company.

Six years later, she returned to London and completed a degree in English, after which she taught secondary school pupils, first in Berkshire, and then in Cheshire.


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