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Rush Home Road

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  10,101 ratings  ·  898 reviews
Sharla Cody is only five, but has already lived a troubled life -- only to find herself dumped on an elderly neighbor's doorstep when her mother takes off for the summer. Although Sharla is not the angelic child Addy Shadd had pictured when she agreed to look after her, the two soon forge a deep bond. To Addy's surprise, Sharla's presence brings back memories of her own ch ...more
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Little, Brown (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.

So many topics! Human nature,families, race, single parenthood, grandparenst raising grandchildren, long term consequences of slavery.


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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,101 ratings  ·  898 reviews

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Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda || eastofreaden
"Wake in bed and know, because dreams are not true, that the sun will be shining and it will not storm today."

I haven't fallen this madly in love with a book in years. The last time I closed a book and actually missed the characters was when I read The Time Traveler's Wife about 8 years ago.

I read a previous review wherein someone referred to Addy as a "saint", but she really wasn't. She was just a genuinely good, and loving person. She was a gift to Sharla and vice-versa. They needed each othe
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 bad la ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book... wonderful story of redemption and resilience!!! Addy's story will stay with me... HIGHLY recommend!!! ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. No doubt this is a sweet story with characters you want to reach in and help out, especially the two main characters, Sharla and Addy. Stories like these hold some appeal for me. We all need Addys in our life and we should all have Sharlas too.

But there were a couple of things that I couldn't overlook. One is that this book is told from Addy's POV. But there were a couple of scenes where the author abandons that and gives the reader things that Addy could not have known.

The story was
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
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly embraced this book, about love and forgiveness. Addy is one of the more memorable, loveable, thoroughly kind-hearted characters I have read about in a long, long time; and I know this story will stay with me. I had forgotten about those American slaves who ended up in Canada, and reading about this real town, Rusholme, and its descendents piqued my interest.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was like reading Lassie's memoir.
Addy, a tried and true saint, has seen it all. The novel starts out promising enough in that Addy is told as young child that she is ugly and won't ever find love. Well, I can go for that, as that is a lot more interesting than the opposite. Except that somehow Addy the Ugly ends up not only capturing the heart of the guy she had a huge crush on but barely spoke to (undying love that came from what exactly?) as well as about ninety other men up until the clo
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-of-2017
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
Gail Amendt
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story of the relationship that forms between an elderly black woman living in a trailer park and the neglected five year old girl who is abandoned on her doorstep when her mother runs off with her boyfriend. Addy is in ill health and has had a hard life, but she steps up to care for Sharla as if she were her own. Their relationship causes Addy to reflect on her past, and the story switches back and forth between 1980ish with Addy and Sharla, and Addie's past. A large part of ...more
**** 2.5 stars ****

Ohhhh really, what can I say about this book? I was looking forward to reading it, considering how many stars it has here on Goodreads, until I realized that everyone who loved this book is probably a huge fan of made-for-TV sobfests and Nicholas Sparks books. Listen, there's nothing wrong with either of those; they're just not my cup of tea.

Addy Shadd is an elderly woman in her 70s who manages to acquire a five-year-old ward, much like you would acquire a stray cat that won'
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Michele Weiner
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I went along for the ride for the first half of this book, as one tragedy after another battered the main character a young Canadian girl named Adelaide Shadd. Addie's ancestors were runaway slaves who had found their way via the underground railroad from the American South to this small lake town near Toronto, called Rusholme. It was a town populated entirely by the descendants of slaves, and Addie believed that it was representative of Canada as a whole, an illusion that was lost after she lef ...more
Sharon Huether
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Tami Carpel
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
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. ...more
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
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
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
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."

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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. A couple of years ago she relocated with her famil ...more

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