Thisis the wonderful reminiscence of an elderly woman as she takes in a precocious 6 year old. Addy Shadd becomes a mother/grandmother to Sharla and helps both of them find their way through daily lifes struggles. These struggles are confronted from the impact of each persons history.
This report prepared by Donna Schmoyer
Little Brown, May 2002, 23.95, 400 pp.
In 1978 in the Chatham, Canada Lakeview Trailer Park white woman Collette asks black Canadian senior citizen Adelaide Shadd to take in her five-year-old daughter Sharla Cody for the summer so she can live with a man. Addy agrees if she is paid. However when the little girl arrives, Addy knows from Sharla's appearance that Collette has abandoned her mixed race child.
Still Addy showers love and sustenance onto the pathetic child turning her into a caring healthy girl. While doing so, Addy looks back on her life growing up in Rusholme, an Ontario community founded by fugitive American slave passengers of the Underground Railroad. Addy loved her hometown until her father's bootlegging partner raped her and subsequently the pregnant teen was thrown out of her home. She lost the child and then marries Mose. They had a child but the girl and Mose died in a railway accident. With Addy's health now ebbing, she and Sharla “rush home” seeking closure.
When RUSH HOME ROAD focuses on the history of blacks in Canada it is quite a fabulous historical tale. However, when the subplot concentrates on the plight of Addy and Sharla it feels like an overdone soap opera. Simply, the historical elements are so superbly done and intriguing, the other aspects of the tale pale in comparison even though they are well written and smoothly intertwined into the story line. Lori Lansens provides an engaging historical fiction novel that genre fans will relish though many will skip the present dilemmas facing the marvelous two women.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner