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Rush Home Road

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  8,767 Ratings  ·  804 Reviews
Sharla Cody is only five but has already had a troubled life. Then she finds herself dumped with an elderly neighbour when her mother takes off for the summer. Two very unlikely people are about to transform each other's lives forever.
Paperback, 439 pages
Published April 3rd 2008 by Virago Press Ltd. (first published January 1st 2002)
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Denise Yes it would! This book was touching in ways that is hard to describe. Now that I have finished the book, I find that I miss Addy...I wish she were my…moreYes it would! This book was touching in ways that is hard to describe. Now that I have finished the book, I find that I miss Addy...I wish she were my cousin so I could visit with her. She was amazing.(less)
Kathryn Scott So many topics! Human nature,families, race, single parenthood, grandparenst raising grandchildren, long term consequences of slavery.

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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this plot driven novel by Canadian writer Lori Lansens.

When I started reading this Novel I found that by the end of second chapter I was totally drawn into the story and was captivated by the characters and the premise of the story.

The novel is set in the 1920s and 1970s in a trailer park in a small town in Canada and tells the story of 70 year old Addy Shadd.
A fellow neighbour Collette drops her 5 year old Sharla off with Addy and disappears. Addy reluctantly steps in as gua
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those life-changing books. I felt like I got to know the main character, Addy, so well, that I missed her when I finished the book. What made this a memorable book for me was that the author was so good at painting scenes in many dimensions. The books centers around and old African American woman who grudgingly agrees to take in a ragamuffin white child who is homely and unwanted. Okay, the theme could be hackneyed but Lansens does such an outstanding job of telling the tale. As ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
I have a new author on my favourites list and this book was AMAZING! In my little world three stars out of five means it was a pretty good read … this book I would give six!

The book is set in the Detroit-Windsor-Chatham corrider of Southern Ontario (as are most of Ms. Lansens books) and tells the story of Sharla Cody and Mum-Addy. Sharla is a five year old who has had a tough go of it already and Addy is a 70 year old who had a tough go of it all her life. Addy agrees to look after Sharla for th
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is no question in my mind that Lori Lansens is a strong writer with a lot of voice. She creates characters who you care about and want to know more about. After enjoying The Girls a great deal earlier this year, I was interested to read her first novel. Unfortunately, this novel falls flat and doesn't hold up to my expectations.

The characters are interesting enough, but the storyline is at best predictable and at worst contrived. There are moments that are genuinely touching interspersed w
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a good book! Set in both the 1930s and the 1990s, this rich literary novel tells the story of Addy Shadd, a black woman in the Great Lakes region of Canada and the U.S., starting with the violent disruption of her nearly idyllic life as a teenager in Rusholme. Rusholme was the end of a line on the Underground Railroad and had become one of the few places where blacks owned property and lived outside most of the prejudice and discrimination of the pre-civil-rights era. A pregnant Addy is for ...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
This is one of those novels that just reads and reads and reads. It reminded me of Jane Eyre but easier. I thought it would be more about the girl, Sharla but it was truly about Adalaide "Addy" Shadd.
Sharla's mom is trash. She decides she doesn't want her 6 year old anymore so she goes around the trailer park seeing who will take her for the summer since her boyfriend gets annoyed when she's around.
Addy says yes and then bit by bit (each chapter is an alternating POV between Sharla and Addy) w
I first remember opening this book in the store and reading the first paragraph. From that first paragraph I was hooked. I knew that it was going to be good but I still had my doubts about the storyline. I continued reading later on that night and I couldn't stop. I was younger at that time so it took me a few days to read. I was incredulous at the way the whole town acted towards Addy. The hate, betrayal, and abhorrence just came out without questioning what really happened to her. I loved foll ...more
I bought this book a few years back. It sat on my shelf after I read the first few pages and put it down for the bad language/swearing. Here, on Goodreads I saw some of my trusted friends gave it good reviews. I'm so glad I gave it a second was a fabulous, heart touching, sweet read. The story went back and forth from present day and the lives of Sharla & Addy to the days of Addy's childhood. I love books like this one, of people unselfishly helping others less fortunate. (the ba ...more
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well written novel concerning a story of bonding, hope, love and a need to belong with family and loved ones. There are many interesting characters in Addy Shadd’s story. Addy herself showed resilience, compassion and forgiveness throughout her experiences and did so with a sense of dignity. It was a very sad story in places, both for Addy and Sharla. There were a few twists thrown in that I didn’t expect. Overall, a very good, heart touching story. I really enjoyed this book and ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book... wonderful story of redemption and resilience!!! Addy's story will stay with me... HIGHLY recommend!!!
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just so you know, I don't do a well written review. I leave those to my sweet friends Eleanor and SuziQOregon. In spite of that, this is a book that deserves an attempt at a review for my friends who read.

Books that start with old people and flash back to their earlier lives will always capture my attention. Addy Shadd not only captured me, but touched something a little deeper while reading her story in this book. As I turned the last page and closed the book, I was surprised to discover tears
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Addy Shadd has got to be one of the greatest characters written in fiction. She has been through so much in her life and yet has survived with an amazing outlook on life, and she passes her wisdom on to Sharla, a 5 year old who is foisted on her.

The story switches between Addy's back story and the current situation between Addy and Sharla. Both are related with compassion but in unflinching detail. Neither had an easy life.

This is
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. If I hadn't had so many things going on in my life I very much would have read this in one sitting. I fell in love with the characters and the story line as well. I was so sad when the story ended, because I felt so connected to the characters lives. Sometimes I have trouble with the alternating story lines, but Lansens worked it perfectly in this book, in my opinion. I definitely recommend this book to everyone! I want to know more about the little girl, but the ending really ...more
Tami Carpel
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book and reading of Addy's life although she had been through so much! It seemed a little long for me but felt that way because her life story had to be told. It made me laugh, cry, and get angry and if you read it, I know it will make you do all 3 too! A definite recommend!
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did you ever read a book that you didn't want to end? Or that you hated to leave the characters? That's how I felt toward the end of this book. Lori Lansens' story grabbed me on the first page to the last. Beautifully written!
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a heartwarming tale of love and hope. It's hard to put into words what I'm feeling right now after the beautiful ending to this novel. So touching. Highly recommend.
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
This is a beautiful story of a woman with an enduring spirit and a big heart. At over 500 pages, it could have used more editing, but the plot was interesting and the ending satisfying.
Carinya Kappler
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The unforgiving reality of life in a Trailer Park somewhere near Ontario makes for sad reading. Here the most vulnerable members of society eke out the barest of existences, alternatively sustaining and denigrating their equally impoverished neighbours.
It is easier to be brave if you possess good health, youth and vigor. The hero of this book has lost these attributes but still finds the courage to change the life of another human. Not only does the little fat abandoned girl she embraces draw on
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This is my favourite read so far this year! It is both a heartbreaking and heartwarming story at the same time, that focuses on the lives of Addy and Sharla. It moves effortlessly between the story of Addy who because of a terrible incident and a thoughtless community must leave home as a young pregnant teenager. Addy now elderly and living alone, has Sharla a 5 year old neglected/abused child abandoned on her door step. The start of the book had me in tears for this poor child. Every child shou ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a tale of loss, family (including what that means), small-town judgements, injustice and struggles (both large and small) against injustice, the indomitable human spirit, and, mostly, love. It includes religious and not so religious people, African-Canadian and white, some of them bootleggers. People move back and forth between Canada and the States, specifically Detroit. Addy has had a hard life, a very hard life. Yet, somehow, she keeps going. A strange little girl is thrust into Addy' ...more
Andrea Paterson
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While many books have made me ache while confronting the sorrow and the beauty of the world, rarely do books make me cry openly and fully. This book did that. Lansens has written a heartbreaking story of loss and redemption with just enough love for the reader to grasp onto like a raft in turbulent water. The protagonist Addy Shadd draws you into her world and, as if you are a child like Sharla yourself, teaches you the value of forgiveness as well as "how to live simply and simply live."

Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-selections
One of the best books I've read in a long time and when I turned the last page this afternoon, I was sad that it ended. The book follows the life of Adelaide Shadd, a 70-year old black woman in poor health who is unexpectedly left with the neighbor's child after she abandons her to run off with her latest boyfriend. The story is rich in feeling and detail, telling the story alternating between flashbacks of Addy's childhood in Rusholme, her journey to adulthood, and her current life with Sharla ...more
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to say Rush Home and Read but I see someone else beat me to it. At first I thought this was going to be a rip off of "To kill a mocking bird" but I was wrong. I absolutely loved this book, there are so many layers. A young girl abused, a struggle for survival, happiness, protection.

The story is told through the memories of 70 year old Addy who lives on a trailer park and is left to look after a little girl for the summer after she is abandoned by her abusive mother. Sharla Cody's mothe
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
My friend Rachelle, who is a voracious reader and buyer of books, lent me this gem: Book #44 Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens. It was absolutely excellent.

The story is about a black woman growing up in southern Ontario (end of the Underground Railroad) and the trials of her life. This story is reflective in nature and perfectly intertwines the past and the present.

Rush Home Road was a national best seller here in Canada, and was of particular interest to me, as I'm quite close (within 45 minutes)
Sharon Huether
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Rush Home Road .. Lori Lansens .. An older woman saw a neighbor girl that was abandoned by her mother. The mother gave Addy some of Sharlas clothes and left the area never to return. Addy cared for Sharla as if she was her own child. Both of Addy's children had died, one at birth and the other a six years of age. Addy now had a sense of purpose teaching Sharla right from wrong and good manners too. The story beautifully written. Every other chapter reminiscing on Addy's past. After several ...more
Jamie Barber
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book. It has such a good story. After reading some of the other reviews, it struck me how a book is as personal as shoes or purses. Something has to resonate with you that may not with someone else and that's what makes reading such a worthwhile hobby. I thought this story of the older woman showed great compassion and how life just goes on for everyone.
Donna DeKeyrel
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow wow wow! This book was so sad...but I loved it so much. It was crazy how she could have had such a hard life...yet she never felt defeated. She was always looking for hope and didn't really feel sorry for herself. She just kept on going. This is one of the better books I have read in awhile. LOVED IT!!!!
Aug 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading and enjoying The Girls by the same author, I was really looking forward to Rush Home Road. I didn't care for it as much as The Girls. I found the plot predictable and the characters too one-dimensional. However, the story kept my interest and I looked forward to reading it.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
To say that I enjoyed meeting Addy and Sharla would be an understatement. Such a wonderfully written book. I don't usually enjoy a book full of coincidences but this book had me hoping that each step in the journey would lead them to peace and home.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5 stars.
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Lori Lansens was born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, a small Canadian town with a remarkable history as a terminus on the Underground Railroad, which became the setting for her first three bestselling novels. After living in downtown Toronto most of her adult life, she moved with her family to the Santa Monica mountains near Los Angeles in 2006. There she shares her backyard with bobcats, rattle ...more
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“the only thing left to do is love” 8 likes
“Read it slow as you can. It's like a fine meal. You don't want to gulp it, but savor it so you can taste it in your memory when you're lone done.” 1 likes
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